The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Three to tango at tiger lair

- Valmiki reserve officials spot cubs and pugmarks

Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) authorities have confirmed the birth of at least three cubs in the Madanpur range of the forest.

“We were getting information about movement of newborn cubs from residents for over a month. Last week, our field employees spotted the cubs and their pug marks in Madanpur,” Santosh Tiwari, the field director of VTR, told The Telegraph on Monday.

He added: “The exact number of the cubs cannot be confirmed until they are spotted through camera traps. But based on human spotting, we are expecting that there could be at least three newborns. We are not going to touch the cubs and their mother for at least three months because they might get frightened.”

With this, the population of big cats in the reserve is claimed to have reached 20.

In February, a tigress had given birth to three cubs at Manguraha range, located on the eastern side of the tiger reserve. However, a tiger killed one of the cubs in August.

Samir Sinha, the manager of Wildlife Trust of India, who is researching at VTR since 2003, emphasised the need of proper monitoring at the reserve to curb cub deaths.

“A tiger normally does not attack his newborns. But chances of them being attacked by another tiger become very high in case a cub’s mother is not around or one of the cubs gets separated from her. It is very important to ensure proper monitoring of their trails through camera traps,” Sinha said.