Machli (T-16), the longest surviving tigress often referred to as the ‘queen of the Ranthambore National Park’, is critically ill. The tigress has been unwell for the last four days and barely moving or eating, officials said.
Mother to nine tigers, Machli earned the crown for being the most photographed tigress in the world. Spotted near the water territory of the national park, the tigress has also earned the title of ‘lady of the lake.’
The oldest surviving tigress in the wild, Machli turned 20 this year, which is equivalent to 110-120 years among humans. The average life term of a tiger is 12-13 years.
Field director of Ranthambore Tiger Project, Sawai Madhopur, Yogesh Kumar Sahu told HT: “The tigress has been lying in a semi-conscious state near Amaghati in Ranthambore. She has not eaten in the last four days.”
Sources in the forest department said her health has been deteriorating though veterinarians were constantly monitoring her condition. “Efforts are being made to make her comfortable. She was hunting occasionally since last one to two years, sometimes even live bait was provided to her as emergency arrangement,” sources said.
The tigress was called Machli due to a fish-shaped mark on her face. She is famous for her fight with a 12-foot-long crocodile. Many documentaries, short films and even a postal stamp has been made on her.
Mother of nine
In 2000, she mated with tiger Bamboo Ram and gave birth to two male cubs, named as Broken Tail and Slant Ear, both dead
In 2002, she mated with tiger Nick Ear and gave birth to two cubs—Jhumru (male) and Jhumri (female). The female cub died
In 2004, Machli gave birth to Sharmeele (female) and Bahadur (male)
In 2006, she gave birth to three cubs—T-17 (dead), T-18 and T-19, both translocated to Sariska tiger reserve.