Sula (Raiya Kasa male)

Sula - the 'Pench Prince' (c) Karun Verma
Sula – the ‘Pench Prince’ (c) Karun Verma

Sula is very much in his prime, though not the largest male in Pench –  yet he has been wily in acquiring a lot of the Karmajhiri range, realising competition was short. Wary of admirers initially he is increasingly enjoying the attention. His progeny will already be part of folklore in Pench having been responsible for the Collared tigress’s huge litters.

Sula patrolling her territory at dusk (c) Karun Verma
Sula patrolling her territory at dusk (c) Karun Verma

Sula maybe one of the Raiya Kasa female’s male cubs before she was recorded, because he came from this area initially, but his ancestry is not really known.

Small for a male tiger, without the bulk that many have, he was though been able to fill a territorial hole in the middle of the Karmajhiri range very rapidly in 2008 because the elderly Charger (CH1)  it is believed, had died, just when he arrived on the scene. His only rival at this time, a male called BMW, who now lives in the eastern part of the range, and it is the same rivalry to this day.

Collared tigress, the mother of Sula's cubs, and her 3rd litter (c) Karun Verma
Collared tigress, the mother of Sula’s cubs, and her 3rd litter (c) Karun Verma

The Collared tigress (BM1) who had small cubs by Charger in April 2008 was soon to lose her cubs, though infanticide could have been the cause, it could just have easily been leopard or other natural causes. However, Sula benefited, for by November the collared tigress had another set of four cubs, thanks to Sula’s advances, and now she would follow her mother into the fame game.

Sula proved to be a good provider and protector, easy though it was in such a fertile and prey rich habitat, of mixed teak forests and open grass meadows. When his first family had reached adulthood and dispersed he again courted the Collared tigress and this time she had an even bigger litter of five tiny tigers.

Sula ID Right flank (c) Sajith Ponnappa
Sula ID Right flank (c) Sajith Ponnappa

Though initially shy and aggressive towards his human fans, he has though mellowed with age and experience and they now concern him little, as he has now to spend a lot of time looking after his territory and keeping an eye on his tigresses, and his rapidly expanding family.

His third litter with the Collared tigress in March 2012, may well cause a dangerous rod for his own back, because of the rapid growth in his male heirs, four so far, he may well find the future more troublesome than the past.

Follow Sula’s future here as he seeks to controls the family dynasty.

These life stories have been brought to you through records, diaries and photographs of many experts who have worked in Pench over the last twelve years, with Karun Verma, lodge naturalist, as the lead.  They have been written and edited by Julian Matthews.  Should you have any photos or information to add to, or dispute, these records them please help us by emailing the editorial team here

Credits: Tiger Nation 



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