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Good news from Sariska: Missing tigress’s radio signals received

This could indicate that the tigress has given birth to a litter of cubs and is in a small area, forest officials said. If this is true, the cubs could make up for the loss of the four-year-old tiger, ST-11, which died on March 19 after getting entangled in a snare put up by a farmer. The farmer is under arrest on charges of poaching

jaipur Updated: Mar 30, 2018 22:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Sariska tigress,Missing
Forest officials have been looking for Sariska tigress ST-5, missing since February 21.(HT File Photo)

The forest department has received signals from the radio collar fitted on tigress, ST-5, missing since February 21, raising hope that the big cat is still alive.

This could indicate that the tigress has given birth to a litter of cubs and is in a small area, forest officials said. If this is true, the cubs could make up for the loss of the four-year-old tiger, ST-11, which died on March 19 after getting entangled in a snare put up by a farmer. The farmer is under arrest on charges of poaching.

STR assistant conservator of forest Sajjan Kumar said that the department received signals from ST-5’s radio collar near Kraska village in the reserve. “The collar emitted signals for two minutes on Wednesday. The signals were received again around 10 pm for 10 minutes,” he said. The official said the signals were received on Thursday night as well for 10 minutes.

The signals come as a sign of relief for 70 officials engaged in searching for the missing tigress.

Sajjan Kumar said four teams of forest officials have been deputed in the area for 24X7 monitoring. “We have installed pressure impression pads (PIP) on the paths and near waterholes in the area to capture pugmarks. 70 camera traps will be installed in the area,” he added.

Another senior official of the reserve, who didn’t want to be named, said the tigress has changed her territory and has localised herself in a small and limited area. “It indicates that she has given birth to a litter,” he added.

However, forest officials want to sight the tigress or her cubs in camera traps before concluding that their hunch is correct.

The 12-year-old tigress was last seen with ST-11 in the Umri area of the reserve. Additional conservator of forests (ACF) Surendra Singh Dhakad said the two were seen mating some time ago. Forest officials didn’t receive any signal from ST-5’s radio collar after February 7 during monitoring.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 22:38 IST