GOOD NEWS: In an exciting news for animal lovers, forest officials inform that there could be more tigers in the Sunderbans than what was earlier believed to be their numbers. This news comes in the wake of the sudden spurt in cub sightings in the mangroves. In fact, the latest camera trap census reveals that there are at least 103 big cats in the Sunderbans.
The icing on the cake was however the successive sightings of two tiger cubs in the forests of Arbesi under Basirhat range and Pirkhali under Sajnekhali tourism zone. The sightings have infused tiger conservationists with much needed hope. The good news will help boost their conservation efforts in the world’s single largest block of tidal mangroves.
“In a recently-concluded camera trap study, no tiger image was captured in the forests of Arbesi in North 24-Parganas. However, last week a beat officer captured a snap of a cub with its mother. A big male, which has possibly fathered the cub, was also sighted near the spot,” said Sunderbans Tiger Reserve field director Soumitra Dasgupta.
“We hope that the three are among the newest additions to the census figure of 103, the official minimum number of tigers in the mangroves. However, a final call regarding the updated numbers will have to be taken only after comparing their stripe patterns with the ones in the recorded images,” he added.
The second cub which was captured on camera was hardly three to four months old. The cub was sighted with its mother in the forests of Pirkhali during a routine forest patrol.
“We were all euphoric when we discovered the young cub. The moment the tigress spotted us, she tried to take the cub away from our sight. But the cub was in no mood to give up on the new-found adventure in its life. He kept staring at our lenses and we had enough scope to take snaps of the cub and its mother. However, the tigress later shooed the cub away and appeared from behind the bushes in a while to have water,” said a forester who was present at the spot.
With India being the biggest home to tigers in the world the news of the growing brood definitely will cheer tiger lovers worldwide.
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Image courtesy TripAdvisor