Mukundra hears first tiger roar
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Mukundra hears first tiger roar

The first roar of a tiger was heard at the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Kota district of Rajasthan on Tuesday, with the translocation of a big cat from Ranthambhore

jaipur Updated: Apr 03, 2018 23:32 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Darrah (Kota)
Rajasthan News
RT-91, the first tiger translocated to Mukundra park in Kota on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

The first roar of a tiger was heard at the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Kota district of Rajasthan on Tuesday, with the translocation of a big cat from Ranthambhore.

A three-and-a-half-year-old tiger, RT-91, of Ranthambhore reserve (RTR) was tranquilised by a wildlife department team at Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary in Bundi, fitted with a radio collar and transported to MHTR, said Ghanshyam Sharma, Kota chief conservator of forest, wildlife.

“RT-91 was kept in a cage and transported through road in a canter to Darrah wildlife range covering over 100 km,” Sharma said. “After reaching Darrah, the tiger was released in a 26-hectare enclosure.”

Wildlife enthusiast Sudhir Gupta, who was present during the release of RT-91, said the tiger’s arrival in MHTR would boost ecotourism in Kota. MHTR deputy conservator of forest T Mohanraj said, “The tiger remained inside the cage for 20 minutes before jumping into the enclosure.”

The tiger will be kept in the enclosure for a week to a fortnight to acclimatise it with the wild of MHTR before releasing it in around 80-square km forest area, bounded by a 32-km-long stone wall and 15-km chain-link fencing, officials said. Two buffaloes and around 2 dozen cheetals have been kept at the enclosure, which RT-91 can prey on.

Mohanraj said, “Ten personnel of Special Protection Task Force of RTR and 8 of the wildlife department have been deployed for the security of the tiger.”

Sharma said, “RT-91 was straying into forests of Ramgarh sanctuary, which is unsafe for the tiger as villages are situated in the vicinity and some poachers were arrested recently. To ensure security to the tiger, it was rescued from the sanctuary and released in MHTR.”

This is India’s first relocation of a big cat to decongest a wildlife habitat. Tigers have been earlier relocated to repopulate dying reserves — Sariska (Rajasthan) in 2004 and Panna (MP) in 2010 — but never before has territorial infighting due to congestion been the reason for a move.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved relocation of three Ranthambhore tigers -- two female and a male – to MHTR in September last year. Ranthambore has India’s third-highest tiger density after the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, and has reported territorial infights among big cats.

Kota MP Dushyant Singh said, “It (tiger introduction) is a great day for Hadoti region as the king of jungle would not only protect the flora and fauna of MHTR but also open avenues of ecotourism and employment in the region.”

Kota collector Rohit Gupta, Jhalawar collector Jitendra Kumar Soni, Kota rural SP Rajeev Pachar were present at Dara during the release of RT-91 in MHTR.

“Translocation of RT-91 is a step towards conservation of the species in Rajasthan and it shall also be the responsibility of the people of Hadoti region to ensure the all-round conservation of the Mukundara ecosystem,” tweeted chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

Retired forest official Daulat Singh Shekhawat said RT-91 is born from tigress T-30 of RTR.

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 22:33 IST