Three tiger cubs born to a translocated tigress in May have gone “missing” in Panna Tiger Reserve in central India, sending alarm bells ringing for forest officials in Madhya Pradesh.
It was for the first time that cubs were born to a translocated tigress in India.
In November 2009, the tigress was relocated from Pench tiger reserve to Panna.
However, a similar experiment in Sariska, where tigers had gone missing in 2004, did not bear fruit.
“Three out of the four cubs born to a translocated tigress in May have not been spotted for the past couple of days
in Panna,” Madhya Pradesh’s principal chief conservator
of forest (wildlife) H.S. Pabla said.
The forest department has deputed teams to trace the cubs, but tall grass inside the core area is making the combing operation difficult.
“Our teams are searching for the cubs in Panna, which is spread over 543 sq km in twin districts of Panna and Chhatarpur in eastern Madhya Pradesh,” Pabla added.
The possibility of the cubs being found dead has not been ruled out.
Some time ago, a tiger had attacked the tigress that gave birth to the four cubs. A tiger often kills cubs to mate with the tigress, a forest official said.