Thursday, November 18, 2010

A New Season Ahead

Gosh how time flies. Its already nearing November end and I have not written in months. Things are very different in the park this season. With the loss of the tigress Durga and the fact that Pyari and her cubs are gone from the Tala Range mean there are many changes taking place amongst the tigers in Bandhavgarh. However thankfully B2 Sundar is hanging on to some territory even though he is being pushed hard by P10 Shashi. We thought perhaps T1 Kallu would push him out of Ghorademon during the monsoon but this seems not to have happened and good old B2 is still walking Banbehi, Ghorademon and Milchaini. He had a few cut injuries recently whether from a fight or an encounter with a few cows no one is quite sure but he seems fine and no tranquilizing or stitches has stopped him going about his business.

I have little news of either Bohka/Shaki or the other young males T2 Kallu's brother or D3 son of Durga. No sightings or so few to be sure what is happening. We will have to wait a while longer to see if any are still roaming the park at ease?

As too the tigresses. Lakshmi our limping Lady is still managing to bring up her family. She is quite amazing but her limp is no longer a limp but a hop on three legs. However with the help of the Forest Department the cubs look pretty good. Both Indrani in Mahaman and Tulsi in Milchaini are fine too. Still raising full families and seen fairly regularly. In fact Tulsi's three are the main stars of the park right now. Great sightings at the pool playing and in the meadow carrying a dead monkey. I am afraid however that 14 year old Pyari seems to have left the park for good and allowed the young tigress D4 daughter of Durga to take control. This little tigress is pushing Lakshmi in both Sidh Baba and Barua Nallah so I hope Lakshmi can hold her own under her injury? D4's sister D5 has taken her mothers territory in Rajbehra and though seldom seen as yet seems content to stay. I have named Durgas daughters with a name related to Durga and the meaning of Victory. D4 being called Vijaya and D5 Jaya. A third young tigress R17 daughter of Reshma is in the hills around Banbehi. She was said to have eaten a poisoned goat recently but survived due to the intervention of Forest staff. I have called her Wakeeta meaning beautiful flower. Its a Sanksit name. You may think I should not name these tigers so but I use the mothers intitial to keep track of their cubs and what happens to them. Hence I have to search for names starting with unused letters of the alphabet when new tigress settle. You might have recognized however that all the male names begin with S! And finally Chameli in Magdhi range is fine too and seen with four cubs not three!

So things look pretty good for the park in the future with three young tigress settling inside Tala range. However there is a huge worry about the actual prey base right now as more and more cows get taken from around the perifery of the park and the tigers continue to hop over the fencing to visit the villages by night. Difficult to say what the future holds and as we all know so few of the youngsters ever survive if they go out beyond the Tala area.

More again soon but meantime a couple of pictures from my recent siughtings. Not great photos but great to see. Hopefully the artwork will be better?