Desperately tracking a stray tiger in Panna Reserve
New Delhi: A young male tiger that strayed
out of Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh is keeping the
wildlife officials on their toes for the past 20 days.
Though it has been localised in the forests of the Sagar
district, a team of 70 personnel including Wildlife Institute
of India (WII) experts, forest guards and senior officials
from the state forest department are keeping their fingers
crossed about its whereabouts now.
"They have put up around 3 km long white cloth on the
boundaries of the forest as a deterrent measure and released
some animals (as prey) to ensure that the animal remains
within the range till it is trapped," MP Chief Wildlife Warden
RS Negi said.
The personnel are searching for the tiger with antennae
to receive signals about its presence from the very high
frequency system on the radio-collar around its neck.
"Fall in temperature to 12 degrees Celsius during night
has made our men`s task all the more difficult. Their food and
daily needs are being taken care of at the possible extent. We
pray that the feline should not enter human habitat or attack
anyone," PR Sinha, director of the WII, added.
Officials feel that the animal which is exhibiting strong
"homing instinct", could be trying to move to its original
home in Pench Tiger Reserve 300 km away, from where it was
brought nearly a month ago.
"Homing instinct" is the ability of an animal to perceive
direction that is beyond the usual human senses and help the
lost animal either to return to their home base or trail their
Sinha echoed similar views saying such homing instinct
was common in territorial animals like tiger as was displayed
by a translocated male big cat in Sariska sanctuary in initial
days, but fortunately it soon formed its territory in the core
"Sariska case was advantage as tigers have been
restricted to the core areas because of human habitats at its
fringes. But Panna tiger has a huge area to roam around with
forest patches rich with prey-base, free from human
disturbance," the official added.
The striped cat has been on the move in and around small
forest patches in different districts, including Chattarpur,
Kishengarh, Damoh entering Buxah range to forests in Sagar
district, 200 km away from Panna Tiger Reserve.
"We are dealing with an animal whose movements can never
be predictable," Negi noted.
The Panna Reserve, spread over 542 sq km, had become
devoid of the endangered wild animal and three big cats -- a
male and two females -- were translocated there to revive
Two tigresses -- one from Badhavgarh National Park and
another from Kanha Tiger Reserve -- had been brought to Panna
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