In what has been called a “shocking” incident by activists, six tigers remain missing for a year at the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. The tigers, including two cubs, were last sighted on camera traps in March and April last year, reports quoted officials as saying.
The missing tigers were identified as T73, its two cubs, and T64, T95 and T97, according to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve’s field director and chief conservator of forest, Tilak Chand Verma. He told The Indian Express that the tigers were from different ranges.
Verma said death cannot be ruled out but they don’t have evidence to claim so. They could have also migrated to another territory, or have been victims of infighting, according to the field director.
The report quoted Dharmendra Khandal, a conservation biologist, TigerWatch, as saying that T73 and T64 were the parents of the two cubs, which means an entirely family has “shockingly” gone missing. He called it “odd” that almost all tigers in Kundera range have gone missing.
Another matter of concern, he pointed out, is that this information didn’t come out in public over an entire year. He said poaching and revenge killing of tigers by villagers whose cattle are attacked by big cats, cannot be ruled out as reasons behind the tigers going missing.
Besides, a seventh tiger, T92, has also been missing February last year, the report quoted him as saying, contradicting the figure of six confirmed by Rajasthan Forest Department officials.