TRAVELLING A distance of over 800 km, RT1 or the tiger named Rajura, who is being brought in from Gorewada zoo in Nagpur, will become the seventh tiger in captivity at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali.
Rajura is likely to reach SGNP on Saturday morning. Officials said the tiger was brought to the park to boost the captive tiger population.
According to them, the SGNP team left Gorewada zoo in Nagpur for Mumbai along with the tiger on Friday morning. “The tiger travels in a cage inside a rescue van. The cage is designed so it has openings only for oxygen supply. It is not a continuous journey and the tiger is fed at regular intervals. The tiger is not tranquilised for the transportation,” SGNP Conservator of Forest G Mallikarjun told The Indian Express.
RT1, responsible for the death of eight persons in Rajuru-Virur ranges in Chandrapur district, was captured on October 28. The tigers are named as per the forest division. The tiger was at Gorewada zoo in Nagpur, run by Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM), since October.
The transfer of the tiger was approved by the chief wildlife warden, state forest department, and Central Zoo Authority, this month.
The SGNP is, at present, home to six Royal Bengal tigers, including five females. The oldest tigress is 20-year-old Basanti, who mothered four cubs — Yash, Anand, Laxmi and Puja — of whom only Laxmi (10) is alive.
In August 2019, twin Royal Bengal tigresses were brought to SGNP from Pench Tiger Reserve in Nagpur, after the forest department’s attempt to release them in the wild failed. They were rescued as orphan cubs from Chandrapur district. The felines were christened Bijlee and Mastani.
Last month, an 11-month-old tigress was brought to the national park from Chandrapur after covering a journey of almost 900km. Sultan was captured from Brahmapuri forest in Chandrapur district in 2018 after it reportedly killed two persons. Sultan, who is five and the lone male tiger, was brought to SGNP from Gorewada on December 27 last year to boost the captive tiger population. The three tigresses, however, are dominant and steer clear of Sultan.
The SGNP authorities have also sent a proposal to chief wildlife warden of Maharashtra requesting two pairs of lions for captive breeding.
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