Saturday, November 25, 2006

Indian tiger reserve blessed with 10 cubs

Rathambhore tiger reserve blessed with 10 cubs

Jaipur, Nov. 24 (PTI): The famed tiger reserve in Rathambhore in Rajasthan has been blessed with ten cubs in the few months raising hopes of an increase in the number of big cats in wilderness.

Three cubs were spotted near Padamtala area of national park yesterday, while seven others were seen playing with their parents in last two months, Deputy Field Director R S Shekhawat told PTI today on phone from Sawaimadhopur, a district headquarter close to the reserve, which has, at present, 26 tigers.

As a result of "better conservation and breeding facilities", and the cooperation of villagers, the cubs were born, he said.

Earlier, forest guards had spotted three cubs at Kachida and two each at Darraneegarh and Gelai Sagar ponds in the reserve, Shekhawat said.

In the last tiger census in 2005, the reserve had recorded 26 tigers, a figure showing a sharp decline from 40 in 2002-03, he said, adding tiger population would certainly rise if the breeding condition prevailed and tourist pressures reduced.

Though, tourists entry to the park was opened last month after closure during rainy season, the census was deferred due to untimely rains during peak summer and early onset of the monsoon.

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