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Tigers galore in Ranthambhore National Park

Sunny Sebastian

— Photo: Special Arrangement

AT HOME: Tiger cubs, 18 to 20 months old, from the Jharko family sighted near Lahpur, in the non-tourist zone in the Ranthambhore National Park.

JAIPUR: It’s raining tigers in Ranthambhore: sightings of tigers and tiger cubs have become so frequent.

Over the past weekend, three visiting groups spotted three different tiger families — including away from the regular tourist zones. These sightings were reported by industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra, and Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar.

Meanwhile, a section of conservationists seem concerned over the shifting of three young tigers from the Ranthambhore National Park to the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, as part of a re-introduction programme.

“We are happy about the spotting of the tiger families as it indicates the vibrancy and vitality of the tiger population here,” Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, a member of the State’s Empowered Committee for Wildlife an Forests, who accompanied Mr. Chandrashekhar and family, along with Rajesh Gopal, the chairperson of the Tiger Conservation Authority of India, said.

Mr. Chandrashekhar spotted the Jharko family of tigers, the cubs 18 to 20 months old. Ms. Priyanka and husband Robert Vadra, who came with a small group, saw the Berda family which inhabits the Lakharda-Lahpura terrain. Mr. Ambani spotted the Sultanpur family, which comprises a tigress and two one-year-old cubs.

Tiger time

“It’s tiger time in Rajasthan. Spotting tiger families, and also in the non-tourist zones, is normally difficult as the animals in these areas are wary of vehicular noise and intrusions,” said R.N. Mehrotra, Chief Wild Life Warden of Rajasthan, who accompanied Mr. Chandrashekhar.

“Our tiger experiments are going well and the example is being emulated elsewhere,” Mr. Mehrotra said, referring to the introduction of a tiger in the Panna reserve in Madhya Pradesh after the Sariska initiative.

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