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NNTR’s grand old tigress dies in fight with gaur

Also called T2, Mai was 17 and a deep gash on her hind side of the body was believed to have been caused by a fight with a gaur.

NNTR, grand old tigress, Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve, tiger death, tiger, death, gaur, mumbai, mumbai news 17-yr-old Mai was in Nagzira since 2000, gave birth to 11 cubs

‘MAI’, the grand old matriarch tigress of Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) died in a probable scuffle with a gaur on Saturday.

Also called T2, Mai was 17 and a deep gash on her hind side of the body was believed to have been caused by a fight with a gaur. She was found by the officials as well as tourists near the Nagzira Lake early morning. She was apparently writhing in pain and gave up fight for life around 3 pm, sources said.

A post-mortem was conducted and Mai was consigned to flames later in the evening. Found in Nagzira since 2000, Mai has virtually sustained the tiger glory of NNTR for about 17 years, giving as many as 11 cubs to the reserve. Her last two cubs Jay and Veeru were born in 2011 and after remaining with her till 2013, they had separated from her.

Jay, believed to be one of India’s biggest tigers weighing over 250 kg, later migrated to Umred-Karandla Tiger Reserve in search of a female, a story first reported by The Indian Express.

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Veeru, however, went untraceable. NNTR despite being spread 656 sq km disjointed landscapes has been in the grip of major tiger survival crisis since the past many years. One of Mai’s cubs Alpha and her partner Dendu have gone missing along with two cubs since August 2015, following which an enquiry was instituted earlier this year. The report is awaited. The third cub, a female, is, however, still surviving.

In 2012, another big male, Rashtrapati, went missing and has still not been accounted for. Rashtrapati and Alpha had three cubs prior to Alpha’s pairing with Dendu after Rashtrpati’s exit. Of them, T4 is still in Nagzira with two cubs fathered by Dendu.

Another sibling T6, also a female, has shifted her base to Navegaon Sanctuary, making it first visit by any big cat to this sanctuary after about a decade. Subsequently, two males – T7 and T8 – also arrived in Navegaon and have become resident tigers there. The third sibling of Alpha’s first litter, T5, a male, has also not been seen for the past more than a year.

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Meanwhile, another male has migrated to Nagzira from Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). Evidence shows it is T61 from TATR. Thus, the vast landscape of NNTR currently has three males and three females with one female having two cubs. Compared to the over 45 tigers in 625 sq km TATR, this number is quite abysmal.

First published on: 08-05-2016 at 02:51:26 am
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