The twin Royal Bengal tigresses that were brought to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) safari last month from Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra, were renamed by park officials as Bijlee and Mastani.
Earlier, the eight-year-old tigresses were called Tf1 and Tf2. After park officials observed their behaviour over the last month, they came up with the new names. The two are in isolated cages as part of the quarantine procedure. “Since Tf1 was more aggressive and would growl at every person going near her cage, we decided to call her Bijlee,” said Dr Shailesh Pethe, veterinarian, SGNP. “On the other hand, Tf2’s new name Mastani was decided after we observed that she was docile and calmer as compared to Bijlee.”
Weighing about 150-160kg each, the animals were brought to Mumbai by a team of 13, including the SGNP veterinarian, forest officers and animal keepers. Pethe said their deworming was done; they were healthy and have begun adjusting to SGNP’s environment.
Forest officers said the cubs were taken into their care after their mother died. “We made several attempts to put them out in the wild, but they were unable to cope with the surroundings,” said Shailesh Deore, range forest officer, SGNP. “Now that they are eight, we decided to bring them to SGNP. They will help increase SGNP’s tiger population and avoid in-breeding.”
The new addition takes the tiger count at SGNP’s safari to eight — four female and four male, including one Albino.