When a Sariska ti­gress pounced on a hap­less nil­gai

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Rajasthan -

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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1. The male nil­gai is spot­ted in the bushes, which are a good 50-me­tre away from the ti­gress (which is yet to come into the pic­ture). 2. The nil­gai clearly comes into fo­cus and can be seen stand­ing in the bushes. 3. The ST-10 ti­gress makes her move and...

PHOTOS: MANOJ PARASHAR, DEPUTY CON­SER­VA­TOR OF FOR­EST, SARISKA TIGER RE­SERVE

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