Nagpur: Six days after Umred-Karhandla-Paoni wildlife sanctuary’s dominating male T9-aka Surya killed one cub of T1 nickedname Collarwali, its another eight-month-old female cub was found dead on Saturday evening. This is the 10th tiger death in the last 78 days in Maharashtra.
Earlier, on March 14, Surya had not only killed one cub of Collarwali but also consumed its meat. Collarwali had three eight-month-old cubs but of late it was seen with Surya, who has been forcing the female to become his new sexual partner.
CCF & Pench field director Ravikiran Govekar termed the cub’s death as a case of infanticide, which involves the killing of young offsprings by a mature animal of the same species. The practice has been observed in many species throughout the animal kingdom.
Govekar said the second cub was found dead in compartment no. 363 in Karhandla beat. The upper portion of the cub is eaten up. Pugmarks of an adult male have also been seen near the spot. The cub’s carcass will be disposed of as per the NTCA guidelines and SOP on Sunday.
The Collarwali tigress had migrated from Tadoba’s Kolsa range and made Karhandla its home in December 2017. It had three cubs from former male partner C2. Whereabouts of C2 are not known for the past four months.
Surya, born to Pandharpaoni tigress Maya, had stepped into Karhandla from Tadoba in December 2019.
Tourists had sighted Surya and Collarwali together moving in the park in recent times. For the past eight days, Surya was seen mating with Collarwali tigress.
Tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years depending on the tiger density in the area, before they become independent and leave their mother’s home range to establish their own territory.
Collarwali’s cubs were too small to live on their own. Officials informed the female tried to protect her cubs from Surya and was moving outside the park in the FDCM area but when it returned in March first week, Surya entered into a sexual conflict with her.