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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ranthambhore tigress relocated to Sariska

TNN | Jan 23, 2013, 03.10 AM IST Poaching fears over tiger relocation at SariskaEfforts on to revive tiger population in Sariska national parkSupreme Court lifts ban on tiger tourismCM wants impact assessment of forestsMaharashtra to take up documentation of biodiversity soon SARISKA: The interim pause in the relocation experiment for re-populating the Sariska tiger reserve with big cats was finally broken when two-year-old tigress Beena 1 was released at the reserve on Tuesday evening. Wildlife and forest officials tranquilized Beena 1 and fixed a satellite collar in Ranthambhore before it was released at Sariska. The officials are hopeful that its sibling will be tranquilized on Wednesday after which she will also be shifted to Sariska to take the total population of big cats in the reserve to nine. Tiger relocation to Sariska comes after a long gap. The last tiger, a male ST-6, was relocated to Sariska on February 23, 2011. Officials of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, managed to tranquilize the tigress at 7.23 am sharp. "We were hopeful that we will also be able to catch her sibling as the duo always stay together. But that was not to be. We waited for about three hours but as we were not able to tranquilize the other tigress we decided to proceed with the relocation of just one tigress today. On Wednesday we shall try relocation Beena 2 to Sariska," officials of the forest department said. After the tranquilization the tigress was put in a cage atop a Canter and the vehicle proceeded for Sariska. After about six hours, the vehicle finally reached the gates of the reserve in Alwar and the tigress was taken towards the special enclosure set up near Nayapani for a soft launch. No sooner was the gates of the cage opened the tigress which had then come back to its senses ran away towards a bush and hid itself. Officials say the tigress will be fed with a bait in the night. Attending the tiger release was state forest and tourism minister Bina Kak, director of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Rajesh Gopal, scientists of the WII, including P K Mullick, D R Parag Nigam and Dr Shankar and chief wildlife warden Rajasthan A S Brar. "The two tigresses are sub-adults and were straying out of the forest. We have brought them up carefully ever since they were orphaned when they were three months' old and since we did not want any mishap with them, we decided to relocate them. After shifting its sibling probably tomorrow, we are hopeful of some more relocation and this time from outside the state. We are in talks with Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra governments for getting some big cats from there too," Kak said.

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