Straying Ranthambore tiger T-98 reaches Mukundra through natural tiger corridor

The straying T-98 tiger of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan has wandered into the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) of Kota through the natural tiger corridor existing between the two reserves, MHTR officials said.

On Sunday night at around 9.17pm, the MHTR staff caught an image of the tiger in the outer enclosure of the reserve in the camera trap in Dara range.

Deputy conservator of forest, MHTR, T Mohanraj said RTR officials confirmed the image was that of tiger T-98 that had strayed out from RTR into the Sultanpur region of Kota district in January.

“Pugmarks of the tiger were also found in the Dara range of Mukundra on Saturday after which the wildlife staff and volunteers of the wildlife organization ‘Tiger Watch’ put camera traps in MHTR to catch the image of the tiger,” he said.

“T-98 has come on its own to the MHTR which is heartening since it proves that the natural corridor existing between RTR and MHTR is still alive,” Mohanraj said.

Tiger T-98 has travelled around 150km from RTR and around 80 from Sultanpur forest block in Kota district to reach MHTR, said Mohanraj.

Former field director of RTR and chief conservator of forest, Jaipur, YK Sahu said that T-98 strayed out from RTR and is likely to have reached Indergarh and Lakheri regions in Bundi district and later Sultanpur territorial forests of Kota district for the last one month.

There is another tiger corridor between RTR and MHTR via the Ramgarh Vishdhary Sanctuary of Bundi.

Wildlife department teams of RTR, MHTR and wildlife volunteers were tracking T-98 in the Sultanpur region for the last one month.

“T-98 is the offspring of T-60 of RTR and is a sub-adult and is around 3 years old,” Sahu said.

Sahu said T-98 is the same tiger which had reportedly mauled a 65-year-old woman to death in RTR on December 27, 2018.

Dharmendra Khandal from Tiger Watch said the ecosystem of RTR was very good since several tiger corridors exists it, to which tigers of RTR stray out. “The territorial forest of the Sultanpur region of Kota district is the stepping stone between RTR and MHTR, which tigers of RTR have been using in the past as well for reaching to the Tiger corridor. So this territorial forest of Sultanpur should be conserved,” he said.

After arrival of T-98, now there are 3 Tigers at the MHTR including a tiger named MT-1 and a tigress, MT-2.

MHTR was declared as the third tiger reserve of Rajasthan after RTR and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district. MTHR was formed after joining wildlife sanctuaries of Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar and Chittorgarh district. MHTR is spread in around 759 square kilometres.

Wildlife activists of Kota are pleased with the arrival of T-98 into MHTR on its own. Tapeshwar Singh Bhati of Mukundra Wildlife and Environment Society said the news of arrival of T-98 has been a pleasant surprise.

First Published: Feb 12, 2019 14:54 IST

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