A tigress along with its cub has been spotted in Madhav National Park, about 120 km from Gwalior. This is after a gap of three years that officials have spotted a tiger in the park. The state wildlife officials suspect the tigress might have strayed into the park from Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park.
According to the officials, no tigers were sighted in the park between 1970 and 2006. After 2007, tiger presence was reported occasionally, however no tiger was seen in almost last three years.
Set up in 1959, the park area was once abounded with wildlife and was famous for its tigers. However, the tiger count dropped drastically and the last of the resident wild tigers were seen in the park around late 1970.
Following dedicated efforts in and around the park area, the habitat has become comparatively secure now because of which tigers from nearby forest areas are tempted to stray here.
Field director Madhav National Park SS Gaur confirmed to HT that the forest guards had spotted pug marks of a tigress and a cub in the park recently.
"We took the cast of the pug marks and got them analysed. Also, one of our forest guards said he saw a cub in the park. So it is after a gap of about three years that we are again witnessing the tiger presence in the park," he said.
On where from the tigress could have come, Gaur said given the large territories of tigers and their habit of covering large distances occasionally, it was likely that the tigress might have come from Ranthambore National Park.
"We have put 16 camera traps in the park, but none of them captured the presence of the tigress. This is perhaps because the grass in the park is quite high," he said.
Sources said from October 2006, the forest department had charted out a multi-pronged strategy to wean away traditional hunting communities from poaching and provide them with an alternative livelihood, apart from strengthening patrolling.