Tigress stuck ahead of relocation, until cubs let her go
Clingy cubs have held back their mother, a tigress at the Ranthambore National Park, after she had been identified for relocation to the nearby Sariska Tiger Reserve. Though tiger cubs usually let go of their mothers around the age of two-and-a-half, these ones remain attached despite having turned three. Forest department officials are now keeping their fingers crossed till the mother weans off the cubs so that she, along with a male tiger, can be relocated.
Sariska Tiger Reserve, which had lost its entire tiger population by 2005, currently has seven tigers including two cubs. According to plans, three more tigers will be added by the end of the year. Apart from the two tigers that will go from Ranthambore, talks for the third are in advanced stages. Additional chief secretary, forest and environment, V S Singh told The Indian Express, "Following the successful implementation of the tiger relocation initiative, we plan to shift two tigresses and a tiger to Sariska soon. While a male and a female from Ranthambore have already been identified, we are in talks with neighbouring states to relocate another tigress but are yet to get the final nod."
Forest department officials say that only "proven mothers" will be relocated so that there is a 100 per cent certainty of reproduction. With the tigress identified in Ranthambore still nursing her cubs, Rajasthan chief wildlife warden Avanish Chandra Chaubey said, "The cubs are not letting go of the mother and hence we have to wait till they are weaned off. But that should be a matter of a few weeks now. The cubs are already three years old and have stayed with the mother much longer than the usual duration of two to two-and-a-half years."
A tentative deadline of early December has been set for relocating the tiger and the tigress from Ranthambore, Singh said. "We want to shift both of them together so that they feel comfortable and settle down in their new home sooner," he added.
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