Tadoba’s new bundles of joy
There is good news for wildlife lovers visiting the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). Four new residents have arrived in the jungles with the tigress in Botezari beat of Kolsa range giving birth to four cubs. They were sighted for the first time by foresters on Wednesday. Sweets were distributed among forest department staff in TATR to celebrate the arrival of cubs. The tigress was first seen with the four cubs at Katekasa point, a perennial water hole in Botezari beat of Kolsa range in TATR. It had brought the cubs to a bison kill to feed them. “It is official now. Our forest guard sighted the Botezari tigress with four newborn cubs in the meadow in Kolsa range. They are around two-and-half months old and the tigress has now started taking them out into the wild,” said field director and conservator of forest, TATR, Sanjay Thakre. He expressed delight at the arrival of new wild guests into the tiger territory. This Botezari tigress had not been seen for the last few months and forest officials were expecting it would appear with cubs. Thakre said that tigresses usually gives birth to cubs in caves or hollow logs in the wild and only after the cubs are two months old that they start taking them out into the jungle. He further said that members of Vyaghra Dal and forest department staffers have been directed to monitor the movement of the new cubs. Camera traps have also been laid to capture their movement and keep watch on them. “Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve has dense bamboo jungles, hence sighting of tigers movement is a little difficult. Moreover, there is little tourist movement due to lack of roads in this area. It may be for this reason that the tigress with four cubs has remained unnoticed for many days,” said Thakre. Thakre said this is the third instance of a tigress giving birth to four cubs at a time in the jungles of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve over the last two years. “The Katezari tigress of Tadoba forest range was the first to give birth to four cubs around two years back. Some six months back, the Jamunzara tigress of Moharli range gave birth to four cubs. Now, it is the Botezari tigress that gave birth to four cubs,” said a jubilant Thakre, adding that all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the tigress and cubs are being taken by the forest department staff. Thakre said the four new cubs would not be added to the ongoing census exercise. As per the last one, there are 43 adult tigers in TATR, and when these four new cubs reach adulthood at the end of two years they would take the number of tigers in this tiger reserve to 47.