Wary that Sariska’s new tiger may stray in search of its lost territory at Ranthambhore if it is released out of its one-hectare enclosure too soon, the Rajasthan forest department is now considering the idea of introducing the tiger to a larger enclosure.
R N Mehrotra, Rajasthan’s principal chief conservator of Forests, said that the state department would soon decide whether to release the tiger to a wider enclosure from the present one at Naya Pani. He did not bother to explain why the department had opted for smaller enclosures in the first place.
However, sources said that the idea of constructing a bigger enclosure doesn’t seem feasible at such a short notice, and the male tiger is likely to be let out of the enclosure before the arrival of the first tigress. Weather permitting, a tigress will reach Sariska in the next 48 hours from Ranthambhore.
This comes two days after Hindustan Times had reported how, in a tearing hurry to repopulate Sariska with tigers, the state authorities had cut down the size of the enclosure from a proposed minimum of eight hectares to just one hectare each.
It had also reported how such a small enclosure with no wild prey naturally trapped inside, forced the forest staff to bait the tiger with live goats - a dangerous practice that, if prolonged, could change the big cat's natural preference for wild prey.
Meanwhile, the tiger made his second kill — another goat — yesterday and brisk movements indicated his sound health.