The Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh received a pleasant New Year’s gift as one of the tigers who had ventured out of the park ten months ago, returned safely on Wednesday night.
Renamed by reserve administration as Panna-123, the male tiger’s return brought smiles on the faces of the officials.
The reserve which had ran out of all tigers under highly debatable circumstances in the year 2009, now boasts of 23 tigers after the return of the male tiger.
In March 2014, couple of semi adult tigers of the reserve had ventured out of the park in different directions. One of them had settled in Panna’s Sangrampur sanctuary while the second one returned to the reserve after roaming around for 10 months.
The tiger brought more smiles on the faces of the reserve officials as it was immediately paired with a tigress in the reserve.
After the return, the male tiger has settled in Chandrapur forest range. This is the area where tigress Panna-222 was residing alone for some time.
A delighted park director R Sriniwas Murthy said that the return was made possible as the reserve has safe surroundings and people who support tiger conservation.
He added that tigress T-1 which earlier was spotted with one cub has now recently been seen with two cubs.
The venture however once again brought the requirement of tiger corridors to the fore as has been demanded by the wildlife enthusiasts and conservation activists for quite some time.
By the early 2009, the PTR had lost all its tigers and the big cats were subsequently reintroduced to revive their population by the forest department amid protests.
When the much hyped relocation programme started in 2009, wildlife experts across the world doubted its success. Now the same project is being seen as the most successful try-out ever. Of the founder population, four were females (T1, T2, T4, T5) and one male (T3) were shifted to the reserve.