Fifth tiger relocated to Sariska reserve

Nearly a week after a tiger was relocated from Ranthambore to Sariska, yet another big cat was brought to the reserve on Wednesday. The two-and-a-half year old female tiger becomes the fifth occupant of the vast forest as two males and two females had already shifted there over a period of two years.Wednesday’s relocation took place amid rain just like the first relocation that took place nearly two years back.
This time, the relocation was not without any hitch. The female tiger, T-44, from the Gilai Sagar area in Khandar range of Ranthambore, was tranquillised around 11.30 am. Unlike the previous relocation — when officials preferred the route route — an IAF helicopter was used as was done in the three other shiftings earlier.
Inclement weather prevented the chopper from taking off in Jodhpur and later at Jaipur where it landed for fuelling. Later on its landing at Sariska, the wait for the tiger’s release at the temporary enclosure stretched on as weather played truant again. “She is the last one to be relocated in the first phase of this exercise. We will not be shifting any more cats to Sariska in the next two years. After that, a male and a female tiger would be relocated every two years,” said K Shankar, a scientist of Wildlife Institute of India (WTI) in Dehradun. According to him, two years later, the tigers to be brought to Sariska may not be from Ranthambore. Instead they might be from Madhya Pradesh. “What we might try out is to get male tigers shifted out of Ranthambore in a bid to stabilise the sex ratio which is currently a skewed one. We would send these males to Madhya Pradesh and get female tigers from there,” he added.
In the meantime, the five cats at Sariska will be closely monitored. Not only security has been increased at the park, all the animals are also wearing a radio collar. “If the tigers breed, the results should be out in the next three months. This reserve can hold about 15 tigers,” Shankar said.

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