Hyderabad: There is a mini boom in tiger population of Telangana with at least 10 cubs between three and nine months of age being seen in various forests across the state.
While five of the cubs have been spotted in Amrabad tiger reserve, others are spread over forests of Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district. Sources said there is one tigress with three cubs and another with two cubs in KB-Asifabad forests, which are part of tiger corridor between Maharashtra and Kawal tiger reserve. Similarly, two tigresses have given birth to two and three cubs each in the Amrabad tiger reserve.
Asked about details of new additions, Forest department officials remained tight-lipped. They maintained they are not in a position to provide details. But they did maintain that all four tigresses, along with their cubs, are being constantly monitored for their well-being. Any disturbance to them from people is being avoided.
Incidentally, cubs are not counted as being part of tiger population until they reach the age of one-and-a-half to two years owing to natural mortality among them.
Currently, the Amrabad tiger reserve has a minimum 16 adult tigers, up from 14. “Two more adult tigers have been identified since then,” a forest department official disclosed.
Meanwhile, indicating that some of the cubs in Amrabad tiger reserve have been weaned off her milk by their mother, one of the two tigresses with cubs was observed carrying a wild piglet to her cubs. Typically, tigresses begin introducing their cubs to meat and bring small prey animals, sometimes killed, or even alive at times, for the cubs to learn to feed on meat.
There is, however, some uncertainty over number of tigers in the Kawal tiger reserve. As per 2018 census, there had been only one tiger. But there are a few tigers in the corridor that connects Kawal to Maharashtra. According to officials, there are four adult tigers in the corridor and reserve forest areas of KB-Asifabad and Mancherial districts.