A prominent tiger of Bandhavgarh tiger reserve has not been sighted for almost two weeks, triggering the park management to launch a search for the missing big cat.
The tiger, known as Bamera male, is about 10 years old and was said to be showing signs of injury the last time it was sighted. The Bamera male is a much known tiger among tourists across the world and has been amply photographed and filmed.
Sources said the Bamera male, the dominant male tiger of a part of Tala zone in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve, has not been sighted since November 18. On the 18th too, the tiger was seen near Garhpuri in Khitauli range some distance away from its territory.
Sources also said the tiger was showing signs of injury in one of the front legs. It is possible that the tiger was driven out of its territory by another more powerful and younger male and is looking for a new territory to establish itself; hence the last sighting in Khitauli range.
A possibility being expressed is that Jobi, another male tiger in the Tala zone, could have possibly fought with the Bamera male resulting in the latter leaving his territory.
A search for the tiger has been launched at the Bandhavgarh tiger reserve but with no luck so far. Park authorities have pressed into service three elephants, Rama, Ashtam and Ira, to look for the missing big cat besides launching foot patrols to know his whereabouts.
Meanwhile, the park management, although engaged in a search operation, tried to downplay the matter. "It is normal for tigers not to be seen for many days at a stretch, sometimes as much as six months after which they are found again," said deputy director, Bandhavgarh tiger reserve, Dinesh Gupta.
The Bamera male was born to tiger B2 and tigress Pyari and is the most known tiger of Bandhavgarh.