The plan to release the cub of Avni, the Pandharkawda tigress that was shot dead in November 2018, in the wild has been postponed as the three-year-old tigress has injured herself possibly in a skirmish with another tiger across the fence of the enclosure in which she has been living for the past two years after capture in December 2018.
Officially known as T1C2, the tigress was put in the five-hectare enclosure in Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) for “re-wilding” – learning to live a life in wilderness. After the authorities were satisfied about her gaining the requisite basic lessons right, permission was sought from National Tiger Conservation Authorities (NTCA). The NTCA had granted the permission last month, following which the authorities had started preparations for the release. A radio-collar was fitted on her early this month so it could be monitored after release from the enclosure.
“We waited for a few days to see how she carried the collar. While she soon got accustomed to it, she injured one of her paws apparently in a face-off with another tiger that may have come too close for her comfort on the other side of the fence,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar. “We have decided to wait for the injury to heal. Release before that might impede her way to unhindered life in open forest,” he added.
Asked how many days it would take for the injury to heal, Kakodkar said, “it is slowly recovering and the limp had also reduced considerably. It might fully recover in about a week’s time. We will later take the call.”
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