The TigerTime team, keen to bring you some good news about tigers, called on old friend and wildlife biologist, Shekhar Kolipaka to update us on his work to reintroduce tigers into Panna National Park in India. In 2008, Panna hit the headlines having lost all of its tigers to poaching.
"I have tons of happy news and we are doing well with the tigers in Panna,” writes Shekhar. "The photos of cubs I shared with you some time ago have grown big and dispersed and the two male cubswere collared the day before yesterday. They are two and half years old now. T2, another tigress, gave birth to four cubs - two male and two female – the photos are from my visit to the park in December. They too are now ready to leave their mother and find their own territories.
"T4, another female, gave birth to two cubs on the 13th of December and T5 is a fifth adult male re-introduced in Panna. So things are looking very positive at the moment in Panna, which, as those who have visited know, is a perfect tiger habitat.
"We’ve put in a lot of effort and to-date, the results are very encouraging. The icing on the cake in 2011 was receiving a letter of appreciation from the minister in Delhi – it really makes a difference to know that your hard work is recognized.”
Shekhar – who is also a research student with the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa - is currently writing up the final findings from a two year research project entitled: Strategies for creating wildlife corridors and stakeholder management around Panna-Bandhavgarh-Noradehi Protected Areas in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Panna has a great history with tigers as can be seen from this cave drawing (right) of a tiger chasing langur monkeys, which dates from around 3,500 years ago.
As tiger lovers, the TigerTime team has to agree that Shekhar has one of the best jobs on the planet! We all wish him, and the tigers in Panna, continuing success.
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Jan, 10:21