TIGER NEWS – 05FEB14
Ranthambore’s missing tigress Machli found after 28 days
NEW DELHI/JAIPUR: The world’s oldest wild tigress has cheated death yet again. Twenty-six days after it went missing, prompting several searches in the forest, Ranthambore’s famedtigress Machli was spotted on Tuesday by forest officials.
According to the wildlife officials, she was spotted on trap cameras at Poli ka Nullah in the Kachida valley on Tuesday. Sources told TOI that after getting a message, Ranthambore’s assistant conservator of forest lead a team and found the 17-year-old tigress.
“Due to extreme cold, it had hibernated into a crevice which has sufficient water and prey base,” said an official. “The tigress is weaker than before, but very much alive,” he said. “It even came out and followed our jeep for some distance.” Photographer Sandip Singh, who has been following the tigress for years, too got a confirmation on Machli being found from officials on the spot.
It was feared that Ranthambore’s tiger queen had died of old age or had been poached after she went missing on January 9 from zone 5 of the park. Although her pugmarks had been found, the tigress could not be spotted despite major searches by forest official.
Machli, who is also perhaps the most photographed striped cat in the world, played a major role in the resurrection of Ranthambore national park after it was hit by falling tiger numbers as well as waning tourist interest in the early 2000s. Two of her cubs were relocated to Sariska, after the tigers population there was decimated due to poaching and other reasons.
“In 2004, there were just 15 tigers left in Ranthambore. Today, that figure is close to 50. Around 60% of the present tiger population is Machli’s progeny,” said Balendu Singh, honorary warden of Sawai Madhopur district.
TIGER NEWS – 31JAN14
Now “Sultan” of Ranthambhore goes Missing….!!!
SawaiMadhopur 31 Jan: After Machli, T16, being missing from Ranthambhore, it’s been reported that Sultan, T72, also has not been sighted either by tourists or by forest officials for over a week now. Sultan being in a tourist zone, No 1, was regularly enchanting tourists with his sightings and his youthful exuberance.
Its also very much possible that 22 months old Sultan, the male sub adult cub of T39 has wandered off his current territory in search of a new territory. Usually adult males do not tolerate the presence of young males in their territory and drive them off. We just hope that its a case of territorial realignment and nothing else and Sultan is back again giving sightings.
Machli’s encounter with a crocodile. www.ranthamborenationalpark.com
TIGER NEWS – 24JAN2014
FRESH PUGMARKS SIGHTED OF MISSING MACHLI, THE QUEEN OF RANTHAMBHORE
JAIPUR: It was a near scare for the forest department when Tigress T-16, popularly known as Machli, disappeared from the Bhooth Khora area in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve for about a fortnight since January 9 when she was last photographed. However, a massive hunt on Friday helped the officials to trace the Tigress’s fresh pug marks.
“We have not been able to sight her but it is a relief that we managed to get fresh pug marks in the Peele Ghati area which is part of her territory. The pug marks are definitely her’s as a toe in one of her paws is crooked and the pug marks also reflect the same,” said DFO Rahul Bhatnagar.
Sources revealed that worries mounted when the Tigress did not come for some days for her regular food supplement provided by the forest department. The food supplement has to be provided to Machli as she is well over 16 years of age, much beyond the known life span of big cats in the wild. Moreover, an encounter with a crocodile once in a bid to save her cubs left her with broken canine.
The 22-men team that launched the hunt for Machli will continue with their efforts on Saturday. Also known as the Lady of the Lake, Machli is one of the most celebrated Tigresses of Ranthambhore and is said to be the most photographed cat in the world. She is also the oldest living wild Tigress in the world and has been the youngest mother in Ranthambhore. But with growing age she has been pushed to a corner in the forest by her own. Sources say the last time she was seen she had a limp.