News has emerged of a tiger from Ranthambore being relocated to Rajasthan’s Mukundara Hills National Park by the state wildlife and forest department. The male tiger RT-91, commonly known as Mirza, had left Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, and was dwelling in the peripheral forests near Bundi, which resulted in a constant state of alert panic for locals, as well as the chances of the big cat falling prey to poachers. The state wildlife department gave a press release which stated “In fact, in course of monitoring and surveillance of this animal, evidence of poachers roaming in the area came to light and they were apprehended. Keeping these factors in mind and following detailed deliberations, a decision was taken to translocate RT-91.” The chief wildlife warden ordered the guidelines and translocation exercise protocols to the forest department, according to which RT-91 was shifted to the 28-hectare soft enclosure in Darrah Range of Mukundara Hills NP, after being honeytrapped and tranquillised in Ramgargh Sanctuary in Bundi, near Ranthambore, by the wildlife department. According to the press release, the big cat is a prime adult male, whose genes will lay a good foundation of breeding stock in this protected area. In order to secure the habitat, an 82 sq km area within the park has been already enclosed. For the time being, RT-91shall be monitored constantly and allowed to acclimatize and no tourism would be allowed,” said the press statement. With the completion of the relocation procedure, chief minister, Rajasthan, Smt Vasundhara Raje praised the actions of the wildlife teams from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, MHNP, and the alert actions of the village wildlife watchers from Ranthambore. She remarked “This shall go down in the annals of conservation as a landmark event where a new habitat is being developed for the national animal.” With this move, all three of Rajasthan’s tiger reserves can boast the presence of the national feline. However, some wildlife activists have raised voice protesting the move, saying that the translocation was carried out without the permission of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), and that it violated the NCTA norms. Incidentally, this is the third instance of a tiger being reintroduced in a tiger reserve in India, with the earlier two being in Sariska,Rajasthan and Panna, Madhya Pradesh.
— As reported by TOI