Tiger Zinda Hai: Maharashtra's Karan meets soulmate in Telangana's Nirmal

As destiny would have it, the two tigers 'discovered' themselves sometime in September-October this year which would, in all probability, have resulted in their mating by now.

By S. Harpal Singh  Published on  26 Nov 2022 2:30 AM GMT
Tiger Zinda Hai: Maharashtras Karan meets soulmate in Telanganas Nirmal

ADILABAD: Nature is beautiful but it acts tough and unforgiving when it comes to the game of survival in the wild, even for as resilient an animal as the tiger. Deep inside the forests the game of life and death constantly keeps unfolding for the wild inhabitants making normal life an almost impossible proposition for the wild inhabitants.

Rare as these come, any instances of wild animals succeeding in going through crucial stages of their life cycle calls for attention and perhaps even celebration. One such instance is the coming together of a male and female tiger in Nirmal district, an event that also underscores the success of tiger conservation efforts to a great extent.

Central to this success story is the male big cat from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra and a female of unknown origin which was presumably living in the Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) in erstwhile united Adilabad district since the last two years. The male has been identified as the famous four-year-old tiger Karan which along with its brother Arjun, had undergone a tough test in survival when it was inured while hunting a porcupine as a cub in December 2019.

It was not before the 'brothers' suffered some excruciating 'inconvenience' that they got the much-needed relief. The quills stuck in Karan's head fell off naturally. The quills lodged in the head and neck of Arjun however, needed the Forest department to tranquilize it to be removed.

A rejuvenated Karan entered the highly fragmented corridor in the completely green deciduous forest in August last year after crossing Penganga near Tamsi (K) and passing through Talamadugu Mandal entered Kinwat forest in Maharashtra only to reentering Adilabad district at Boath and eventually moving into the forest of Nirmal district. It, however, did not enter the KTR, which was not too far away on his left, impeded by the busy NH44 which bisects the area.

Meanwhile, the lonesome female tiger, which was assumed to be in the KTR, also moved into the same forest in the Nirmal district. As destiny would have it, the two tigers 'discovered' themselves sometime in September-October this year which would, in all probability, have resulted in their mating by now.

The Nirmal forest department is closely monitoring the movement of the tiger pair in order to provide foolproof protection. "There is less risk to the life of the tigers as greenery provides them good camouflage and protection but only God can tell what happens to them once the place goes dry in summer baring everything," a Forest official speculated on conditions of anonymity.

Thanks to the increased movement of the big cats, the forlorn tiger corridors linking forests in Maharashtra and Telangana now resemble bustling metropolitan road. There is a 'good' tiger movement from the TWS bordering Adilabad and the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) bordering Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

In addition to the existing 'population' of eight tigers in the Kagaznagar Forest Division of KB Asifabad, a female and her three cubs, assumed to have come from the territorial forest near the TWS, are being monitored in the undisturbed 3,000 acres of the wild bush forest along the river Penganga in Bheempur Mandal.

"Until the cubs are of a proper age to move out, the female will stay put in the vast bushland," opined a wildlife photographer from Adilabad. This assumption, however, does not hold water owing to the ever-increasing movement of humans in the area where the construction of an irrigation facility is going on. The movement of another of the TWS males was noticed last month but it seems to have progressed in the corridor further and entered the Kinwat forest in Nanded district of the neighboring state. It could be headed towards the forest in Nirmal district.

The enhanced movement of tigers along the inter-state riverine border in Adilabad has brought the Forest department on its toes. "We have enhanced monitoring activity in the area which includes setting up of camera traps as well as patrolling," revealed Adilabad Forest Range Officer Gulab Singh.

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