As part of the state government's plan to relocate tigers to Panna National Park, the reserve got its first male specimen from Pench National Park on Friday. The previous relocation bid from Bandhavgarh was aborted by Wildlife Institute of India scientists to avoid a situation of inbreeding after they thought that the chosen specimen could be closely related to a tigress at Panna.
Field Director Panna Tiger Reserve R Sriniwas Murthy told Hindustan Times that a tiger from the Pench National Park would be reaching Panna late on Friday night. The tiger would be kept in an enclosure where its health parameters would be studied for a few days after which a 'soft release' would be executed. The tiger would be released in the same area inhabited by the two tigresses for purposes of mating. The two tigresses were brought in from Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park.
In September, a team of forest department officials and scientists from the WII were in Bandhavgarh National Park to identify and shift a tiger to Panna. However, the chosen specimen could have been related to one of the tigresses shifted to Panna in the past. In order to avoid a situation of inbreeding, the shifting was called off by the WII scientists. It was also decided to instead shift a tiger from a different landscape- Pench National Park, separated geographically from Panna by a distance of 350 kilometers.
Forest officials and scientists led by K Ramesh had been camping in Pench for the last 10 days and the tiger to be relocated was found on Friday morning. The specimen was tranquilized and is being shifted by road.
The state government has secured permission to relocate 4 tigers- 2 males and 2 females to Panna National Park after the entire tiger population of the reserve was wiped out.