Wakeeta’s life has never been easy. After her mother died while Wakeera was still a teenager, she has survived to establish her own territory and is with her second litter after raising her first litter to adulthood. Can she do the same again?
Wakeeta, or “beautiful flower in Hindi was born in Banbehi along with her sister and two brothers. One of these male cubs died at a very young age due to illness. The family was the fifth litter of prolific mother Reshma’s (S2) who raised an incredible 16 cubs to adulthood. Under the protective eye of charismatic male Sundar (B2), Reshma gave birth to three litters of his cubs.
Reshma raised the three cubs until they were about 17 – months -old when she tragically died in mysterious circumstances in early May 2009. Reshma left behind Wakeeta, her brother (R16) and her sister still only coded as R18 to fend for themselves many months before maturity.
Wakeeta survived her mother’s death, and blossomed into a beautiful and petite female and establishing her territory in Banbehi and Amma Nallah as well as outside the reserve. Her siblings however vanished and we do not know what happened to them.
In 2011, Wakeeta was found in a distressed state by forestry workers. A Poisoned goat left outside the park was suspected as the cause of her illness and the Forest Department tranquillised her and administered antidote. Wakeeta recovered, dashed off back into the jungle, and lived to tell the tale.
By the end of April, she had given birth to her first litter – two males and a female. It’s difficult terrain in which to spot her cubs, who she keeps close by, but she is well on the way to mothering them to adulthood and independence – even though her lazy male cubs (W1 and W2) keep hanging around for free meals!
In March 2013 after being seen with her suitor, Shashi, a second litter was born with four cubs. Soon one was noticed to be very weak, a runt of the litter and died in early November 2013, and then a further cub who was also not getting enough to eat was also found dead a week later. These life stories have been brought to you by Kay and Satyendra Tiwari, and involved twenty five years of passion, note taking and intelligence while living on the borders of Bandhavgarh Reserve.
Credits: Tiger Nation