Tigress MT-2 with her cub at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve
JAIPUR: The country’s third tiger reintroduction programme at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) has yielded results with tigress MT-2 giving birth to two cubs, the first such instance in the reserve. The forest department’s tiger conservation efforts bore fruit after two years when the two cubs were spotted with their mother on Monday evening.
DFO T Mohan Raj, who was the first to spot the newborns told TOI, “During patrolling in Darrah range, we spotted the cubs with the tigress. These cubs are approximately two-and-a-half-months old and we are continuously monitoring them.”
The tigress, which is nearly four-year-old, was relocated to the 82-sq-km enclosure at Darrah range in MHTR from Ranthambore National Park (RNP) in December 2018. Though MHTR is spread over 759.99 sq km covering four districts of Kota, Bundi, Chittorgarh and Jhalawar, only 200-sqkm in Jhalawar is dedicated to tigers.
“The total tiger population in MHTR rose to 6 including the newborns. There were indications that tigress MT-4 and tiger MT-3, who are outside the enclosure mated, but so far it has not resulted in any cubs,” added a forest official.
“It took nine months to shift the tigress MT-2 to MHTR as wildlife activists approached the Rajasthan High Court against the relocation, claiming it was carried out without the permission of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The relocation was done after court dismissed the petition”, an official said.
The park that once upon a time served as the hunting ground for the nobles was notified in 2013. It became the third park in the country after Sariska in Rajasthan and Panna in Madhya Pradesh where tigers were reintroduced . “MHTR will follow the footsteps of Panna and Sariksa where there are over 50 and 20 tigers, respectively,” said an official.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot also took to social media and posted on Twitter, ‘Good news received again on June 2, 2020 about 2 tiger cubs of MT 2 tigress after 2 years of Tiger Reintroduction in Mukundara Tiger Reserve. Feel ecstatic about the new arrivals. Let us save wildlife and their habitat.’