Sariska tiger sitting pretty
JAIPUR: The Sariska reserve’s male tiger missed the bash on the anniversary of his entry into the re-located area last weekend, but he did get a new collar. The wildlife authorities, the scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Rajasthan’s Forest Department kept their date with Sariska last Sunday, though a workshop to mark the first anniversary of the re-introduction of tigers in the reserve was called off as there was state mourning in Rajasthan.
The male tiger was airlifted from the Ranthambhore National Park and relocated in Sariska on June 28, 2008 after all the tigers in the sanctuary were wiped out in 2004-05.
In the first-ever conservation effort of the kind in the country, it was fitted with a new radio collar on the first anniversary. It was in fact a re-enactment of the process undertaken a year ago. The first collar fitted around the neck of the animal stopped working a few months ago and the forest authorities were facing problems locating the big cat.
The wildlife experts who carried out the operation under the leadership of K. Shankar and Parag Nigam of WII found the “first tiger” of Sariska in good condition. It had lost its appetite for some days after he was taken out of his original habitat in Ranthambhore, but later gained weight in his new surroundings and was looking healthy.
“He looked massive. We found him healthy. The new radio collar is also working fine and we located him till the other day in the company of the first of the two female tigers which had followed him from Ranthambore,” Dr. Shankar, who heads the tiger re-introduction programme in Sariska, told The Hindu. In April his collar stopped working. The new collar is expected to function for at least three years,” he noted.