Roar for Tigers

Missing tigress, cubs reappear after 2 years

Missing tigress, cubs reappear after 2 years

Sep 29, 2014

PILIBHIT: In what has baffled wildlife experts, a tigress and her two her cubs which had mysteriously gone off the radar of forest officials in 2012 have been spotted in the Deuni dam area of Pilibhit. The family, which used to be seen roaming the grassland along Deoha and Kailash rivers, sometimes crossing sugarcane fields and at other times preying on wild boars and nilgais, have been spotted again. Forest and wildlife officials, who say it is rare but not unprecedented to have cubs stick to their mothers even after two years, have confirmed the reports and said they will try now to send the family back in the wild as their roaming around human habitation puts both them and people at risk. Uttar Pradesh chief wildlife warden Roopak Dey told TOI: “By all standards, the sighting of the tigress and two other adult male tigers, who as per speculations are the ones who went missing two years ago, is a rare phenomenon.” Speaking on the peculiar development, state’s former chief wildlife warden Mohd Ahsan said, “Ordinarily, tiger cubs leave their mother when they grow up but there have been instances where they have stayed with her up to 2 years or more. In 2004, a man-eater tigress which had gone on a killing spree devouring humans in the Mala forest range here was found moving along with her two full-grown cubs before she was shot dead by forest department.”

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According to wildlife biodiversity conservation society vice-president Amitabh Agnihotri, the tigress went off the radar of forest officials in November 2012 after she ventured into human settlements in the Mahauf forest area of Pilibhit. Her presence was again felt after two years, when there were more than six incidents of tiger attacks on humans in the area in the past eight months. Though it is yet to be established that the present group of tigers is the same family lost in 2012, there is excitement in the wildlife fraternity. At the same time, there are concerns about their present habitat which is dangerously close to human settlements. Their continued stay here puts their own lives as well as those living in the nearby areas to risk. On the issue of pushing the tigress and her cubs back into forest, WWF (India) coordinator Dr Mudit Gupta said it is primary responsibility of the forest department as WWF’s role is limited to providing infrastructure to forest and minimizing the possibilities of man-animal conflict. Chief wildlife warden Dey said, “We would be making efforts to ensure that they are sent back to the wild as soon as possible.”




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