Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
When a Sariska tigress pounced on a hapless nilgai
HAMSTRING TECHNIQUE IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST LARGE ANIMALS SUCH AS GAURS OR BUFFALOES, WHICH ARE HEAVIER THAN TIGERS
The deputy conservator of forest (DCF) in the Sariska Tiger Reserve —38 kilometres from Alwar City — was in for a surprise on May 6, 2015, when a male nilgai was hamstrung by a tigress (ST10).
The ST-10 used the hamstring technique to attack the animal.
The attack — which lasted for a good 80 minutes —was documented by DCF Manoj Parashar.
As per the wildlife department, the tigress confidently hamstrung the nilgai without even using her forelegs to grip the animal and prevent his escape. The nilgai was unable to move as the tigress was tearing off his hamstring mercilessly.
After hamstringing the nilgai, she confidently sat at a distance, waiting for him to collapse.
Later, she killed him by attacking his neck and happily relished her meal.
This is a unique incident in Sariska, not only due to the technique employed by her, but also because the ST10 is a special tigress in her own right.
ST-10 became an orphan when she was barely four months old, as her mother — the famous T-25 (Kachida) tigress of Ranthambore National Park — died in February 2011.
The wildlife department considered translocating her and her sibling to Sariska.
But, to everyone’s surprise, a male tiger Jalim — which ironically means cruel in Hindi — raised the cubs, which is a rare phenomenon in wildlife.
He even protected those cubs from an aggressive female and his former mate.
Later, both cubs were translocated to Sariska in January 2013.
Since her arrival in Sariska, ST-10 has been regularly killing wild preys and has given birth to two cubs last year.
From being an orphaned cub whose very existence was in peril to becoming a confident mother herself, she has come a long way.
Her story underlines the fact that tigers that are translocated can go on to thrive in their new habitats as well.
The author is a research fellow at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
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