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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Palamu Tiger Reserve's lone male tiger counting its days

TNN | Jul 24, 2012, 06.23AM IST DALTONGANJ: The Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) has just one aging male tiger. The tiger is about 9 to10 years old. Average life span of a tiger is 12 years that too only if it is not domesticated or kept in captive. Sources in the PTR said going by this account the lone male tiger of PTR has not many years to live on. The actual crisis will arise when this lone male tiger dies. The PTR officials when asked conceded this to be a major cause of concern. However none of the officials were ready to give comment officially. "We have been asked by the principal chief conservator of the forest-cum- chief-wildlife warden A K Malhotra not to speak to media," said one official. Sources said there are 5 female tigers in PTR. Copulation is very rare now and the prey base for a tiger has shrunk considerably. "A tiger now requires covering 30 to 40 sq km to hunt its prey which is reducing its copulative power," the official said. "For a tiger the maximum prey base where it can have its prey is 20 sq km. But in PTR the prey is not available and hence the tigers have to toil a lot and move forward to catch a prey. So there is very little time left for copulation," quipped the official on conditions of anonymity. The officer suggested that the only way to resolve the crisis is to import tigers from other tiger reserves in the country as it has been done in Kanha and Ranthambore where tigers were dispatched from other tiger reserves to set right the gender imbalance there.

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