MAIDEN APPEARANCE: Tigress T-19 takes her almost three-month-old cubs out for a walk in the Nal Ghati-Kamaldhar area of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park.
JAIPUR: One more proud feline mother came out with her cubs on a “parade” this week at the Ranthambhore National Park, confirming the presence of at least 17 cubs there at present.
Though the park authorities were aware that T-19, the nearly six-year-old tigress, had delivered a litter, this was the first time that she gave a “ dekko” to the eyes of the camera.
T-19 — born to the famous Machli, also known as the “Jhalra female”, a classification given by the territory she presided over during her heyday — took her cubs for a walk in the sunlit woods of the Nal Ghati-Kamaldhar area in Zone 2 of the park.
Ranthambhore Deputy Conservator of Forests Y.K. Sahoo confirmed the young mother as T-19.
Going by their size, the cubs could be about three months to three-and-a-half months old. The family was sighted by tourists and forest guard Shivraj.
“The lineage of T-19 is both impressive and interesting,” points out Rajasthan Board for Wildlife member Rajpal Singh.
“Born in August 2006, one of her siblings, T-18, was shifted to the Sariska Tiger Reserve as a part of the tiger reintroduction programme there,” he notes.
Machli so far has given four litters, and another female given birth to by her earlier too is now in Sariska.
Though aged around seven years, this tigress — as none of the tigresses in Sariska have — is yet to be a mother.
Interestingly, a more aggressive sibling of T-19, Machli had three female cubs in that litter, is T-17, who has reportedly taken over 70 per cent of her mother's territory of the Padam Talab Rajbagh Nalghati area.
Now the good part of her aggression is that she too has been reportedly mating. Machli, submitting to the new power equations in her area, now reportedly surveys a territory near Lakharda, on way to Malik Talab and Bakola.
“It is celebration time in Ranthambore. The appearance of T-19 with her three cubs has confirmed the earlier claims of the authorities on the presence of 17-18 cubs in the park,” observes Mr. Singh.
According to him, the oldest among the cubs — born to the Sultanpur female — would be two one-year-old juveniles.