In Ranthambore, tigers drop by a resort in the morning
5 Jan 2009, 0531 hrs IST, P J Joychen, TNN
JAIPUR: You don't always wake up and smell the coffee. If you are lucky in Ranthambore's resort, you wake up and see a tiger staring across disdainfully. Tourists on the tiger trail at Ranthambore National Park are raving about such sightings. They say they need not go for a safari to watch the big cat as they are often seen from the comfort of their resorts.
Rakesh, a naturologist with a resort outside the park, said the reverberating roars of tigers are these days heard in hotels with the striped beast often coming close to the inhabited areas. "Three days back a tiger came close to the outer wall of the park during day time. Since the hotel is just about 100 metres from the park, the staff and tourists could see the animal,'' he said.
On Sunday as well, a tiger came close to one of the resorts in the morning. Tourists got around quickly in large numbers. "We could see the tiger for about 10 minutes but it disappeared once the din of people grew," said a hotel staff. Chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan, R N Mehrotra said, "It was probably a tigress chasing its prey who came close to the park's outer boundary."
Deputy director of the reserve, R S Shekhawat, told TOI on phone, "The frequency of tigers coming close to the periphery isn't unusual. They do so while chasing prey," he said.
Could this mean the number of tigers is increasing hereabouts? State board for wildlife official Rajpal Singh agrees. "Frequent incidents of tigers coming close to the outer periphery is a good development as it may be due to their increasing numbers in the park," he said.
"Tigers are territorial and they venture out of the core area in search of space and prey. This reinforces the need to create more tiger habitats as tiger population has risen," he said, adding, "If timely measures aren't taken, tigers may stray out of the park."
Last year, a tiger named Yuvraj strayed out of the park and was later found dead. The park is facing a problem of plenty as the numbers of tigers have gone up to 32, from 25 in 2005 as per the latest census by the state government in 2007 without counting 14 cubs.
The government had translocated two big cats a male and a female from Ranthambore to Sariska in 2008. The shifting of another tigress to Sariska is on the cards. Ranthambore covers an area of around 400 sq km and was declared a wild life sanctuary in 1957.