Updated: March 15, 2021 12:23:21 am
A large, dominating tiger called Surya is believed to have killed an eight-month-old cub of a tigress and devoured it fully on Saturday night in Umred-Paoni-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary (UPKWS) in Nagpur district. Surya also attacked a tigress in November, killing her and leading to the abortion of her four foetuses.
“Surya, officially known as T9, is believed to have killed and eaten one of the three cubs of a tigress on Saturday night. We have found only a small part of one of the cub’s limbs and his chin on the spot,” said Range Forest Officer Ramdas Nimbekar.
He added, “The tigress and her two cubs were seen by tourists on Saturday evening. We are looking for them.”
Earlier in the day, speculation was rife that Surya had killed all three cubs of the tigress. But Nimbekar said, “Till now, we haven’t found any such evidence.”
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Nitin Kakodkar said, “This tiger (Surya) is a huge dominant male, who has come to UPKWS from Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district, where he was born to the famour tigress Maya. He is moving about in a large area, pushing other males out. But it’s part of tiger ecology and there is hardly anything we can do to restrain him.”
He added, “Tigers are known to kill cubs not fathered by them and then have their own progeny by mating with the mother. Also, cannibalism is common among tigers.”
Recently, a tigress from the sanctuary had caught everyone’s attention by giving birth to five cubs in the Gothangaon area. Nimbekar said, “Those cubs pose no threat to Surya since he is their father.”
UPKWS had caught the attention of tiger lovers across the world because of tiger Jai, who had mysteriously disappeared in 2016. Jai was believed to be India’s biggest tiger and was attracting a large number of tourists, including several celebrities. His disappearance had snowballed into a political issue with the then Devendra Fadnavis government being questioned over the state of tiger conservation in the state.
Crosshead: Tiger couple arrives in Penganga Wildlife Sanctuary
Kakodkar said, “Amid the pall of gloom due to PTRF_84’s death and the UPKWS incident, there is some good news from Penganga Wildlife Sanctuary in Yavatmal district. A tiger couple has come to stay, which is the first record of resident tigers in the sanctuary. Only transient tigers have been seen in the sanctuary over the last few decades. It is likely that this pair will stay on and have its own progeny.”
Kakodkar also said that the sanctuary has good quality forest but smaller prey base. “But it has a lot of Neelgai and wild boar population along with large cattle population from several villages in the vicinity,” he added.
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