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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ranthambore reserve blessed with another cub

Asish Mehta, TNN | May 22, 2012, 02.03AM IST JAIPUR: After two new tiger cubs were spotted in the month of April, the wildlife authorities in Ranthambore were elated after they found T-39 with a cub on Monday. With this, the number of cubs born in the last 10 months has gone up to 21. The total number of tigers in the park has now gone up to 47 which include 26 adults (12 males and 14 females) and 21 cubs, according to the wildlife authorities at the Ranthambore National Park. On Monday, some forest guards spotted T-39 with a cub in the Sulanpur area. Initially, it was not known if the cub belonged to tigress T-39. When TOI contacted Y K Sahoo, field director of the park, he said, "Yes, T-39 was spotted with a cub. There is a possibility of a second cub as tigresses are known to give birth two cubs." Sahoo added, "The age of the cub appears to be around three months." The wildlife authorities have also said that T-17 tigress in the park is also pregnant as judged by her behavioural changes. "Her behaviour shows that she too has delivered recently. Usually, a tigress hides her cub for three months, so we will have to wait for three months for confirmation," said an official. Some of the wildlife enthusiasts including state tourism and environment minister Bina Kak have shared pictures of T-39 with a cub and many tiger lovers have expressed happiness. "Even T-17 seems to have delivered recently. Fingers crossed," said a wildlife lover. Wildlife enthusiasts attributed the birth of new cub to the rehabilitation of villagers from the core tiger habitat. "It is the result of efforts made by the wildlife authorities and those working for tiger protection," said Dharmendra Khandal, conservation biologist at Tiger Watch, an NGO at Ranthambore. Similarly, the experts also said that now the state government should expedite the work of extension of core critical habitat for tigers from the existing 392 sq km to 1,100 sq km. "The work of evacuation of the villagers and their rehabilitation need to be done in a proper way. Villagers should be taken in confidence," said a tiger conservationist.

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