Panna reserve celebrates with three new tiger cubs

May 9th, 2010 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, May 9 (IANS) In cheering news for wildlife enthusiasts, a tigress brought to Madhya Pradesh’s Panna National Park last year has given birth to three cubs, officials said Sunday.
The good news comes exactly a year after the reserve was declared without any tigers.

“The state government’s tiger rehabilitation programme in Panna has proved to be a great success. The tigress brought from Bandhavgarh National Park has been spotted with three healthy cubs on May 7,” a park official told IANS.

“Though we had received indications about the tigress giving birth last month, it could not be confirmed since she was hiding in a place difficult for the park officers to reach. The news was confirmed only when the tigress decided to shift her cubs to a better place,” said R. Sreenivasa Murthy, field director, Panna.

“The cubs are more than 20 days old and healthy. We managed to get it confirmed on Friday night and have prohibited tourist visits to the area.”

One tigress each from Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks were brought to Panna last year and a tiger brought from Pench National Park in November for mating.

“This is the first incident in the country of any tigress transferred from one park to another giving birth to healthy cubs,” Murthy said.

“Earlier, two tigers, - a male and a female - translocated from Ranthambore to Sariska in 2008 had failed to breed.”

“I shot a video of the four-year-old tigress Thursday evening and the cubs were noticed in the footage. Officials went to the site on Saturday again and managed to get more pictures,” said Vikram Singh Parihar, deputy director, Panna National Park.

In May 2009, Panna National Reserve was officially declared tiger-less.

According to wildlife experts, the Panna Tiger Reserve had two dozen tigers after the census in January 2006, and was left with no tigers by December 2008.

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