Is it true? Yes, indeed 33 different tigers sighted and it speaks volumes about the efforts by the forest department in conserving Tigers and wildlife in Kanha.
In October 2016 we heard about two Tigers getting poached and one Tiger dying in a territorial fight. While nothing can be done about saving Tigers in a territorial fight, but in poaching, it was done. The poachers of one Tiger were caught within 30 hours of the Tiger being found dead. Such a prompt action by the department is commendable, suggests the dedication of the team towards the cause. Four people involved in the crime were arrested. On investigation it was revealed that they were local villagers who had laid a trap to get a wild boar or some large herbivore. But the Tiger walked in the area and was trapped. Unfortunate but true. The second case of poaching is still being investigated. It is a matter of concern but I would still like to compliment the department for keeping these numbers to a minimum.
Tigers of Kanha
With 22 adults and 11 cubs, the times ahead for Kanha look good. These are only the tourism zone figures, and the tourism zone is about 20% of the total area of Kanha. The latest camera trap census estimated that Kanha has over 110 Tigers as on date. Of the total 22 adults sighted in the tourism zones of Mukki, Kanha, Kisli and Sarhi, there are 9 male Tigers. So the male to female ratio though not ideal, but it is close to being ideal. These are positive signs for the Tigers of Kanha.
Some experts had indicated that even if the Tigers disappear from rest of the protected areas, Kanha will still be amongst the last bastions of the Tiger besides Corbett. This forecast has been true so far, and I think it will remain true until something untoward happens.
List of Tigers sighted since October 2016 in Kanha include:
- Rajaram aka Kingfisher (died in a territorial fight in October 2016)
- Chotta Munna, aka Link 7
- Umarpani male
- Jamun tola male
- Karai ghati male aka Dabang
- Junior Kankatta
- Supkhar male
- Choti Mada with two cubs
- Mahaveer female with 3 cubs
- Dhawajhandi female
- Umarjhola female
- Distt line female
- Neelam (pregnant)
- Link 8 female (pregnant)
- Link 7 female with 4 cubs aka Mundi Dadar female
- Unknown female with two cubs near Indri camp
- Female near Chimta camp
- Budbudi female, and
- Jamun Talab female
Conservation of Tigers
Conserving Tigers is not an easy task by any yard of imagination. Tigers roam free in large areas without boundaries, and with no technological surveillance yet. There will soon be drones to monitor them. With many villages around the parks, highways, inadequate forest guards, biomass dependency, forests and wildlife are a soft target. But the forest department works relentlessly. They risk their lives from dangerous predators, stay away from families so that the forests can be preserved. Their sacrifice is unparalleled.
I pray that you are able to sight many Tigers on your visits to Kanha. But a humble request to you all that please enjoy the park in its entirety. Yearning for Tigers alone can be a tad disappointing, hence appreciate the smell, sight, and sounds of Kanha. Trust me, it will leave you enthralled.
– Sharad Vats