Dollar, as he is also known because of the shape on his right flank stripe pattern, is amazing the experts. Part of a successful litter of three males, he has stunned the tiger world by “mothering” two four month old cubs orphaned when their mother died in the summer of 2011.
Dollar has succeeded (with a little help from the Forest Department) in protecting and feeding the cubs from the ever present dangers in their forest home, behaviour never before seen in the wild.
Follow this caring father here as he brings up his kids on his own.
After Dollar separated from his mother he was not seen for several months. During the summer of 2009, a new young male took residence in the Tamba Khan-Bhootkhurra area of the park. It took a few months to figure out that this new male was Dollar himself. Dollar’s brothers are no strangers to controversy and attention. Sultanpur has been accused of attacking a villager collecting wood near the Ranthambhore road. He has since moved to a key area of the park below the fort. Dollar’s other brother Indala has moved into his father’s old territory, recently vacated by villagers.
Settling into his new territory, Dollar mated with Kachidha T5 in the late winter of 2011 , seeing the birth of his first cubs by the end of the monsoon. Tragically, not more than four months later in February 2011, Kachidha was found dead near a chowki (Guardpost) after howling all night, from the pain of internal haemorrhaging she had suffered. The Forest department faced an inevitable dilemma – to let her cubs live, or die without their mother’s care.
Strategically placed bait helped smooth the transition to motherhood for Dollar and his cubs, proving experts wrong who believed they would inevitably die or be killed by leopard or hyena, and that males would never take over motherhood.
A camera trap in May 2011 first proved Dollar was really looking after his cubs, and since then Dollar’s extraordinary ‘mothering’ has prevailed and has since been documented leading his young cubs through his territory, teaching them the necessary skills for survival and occasionally admonishing them like any good mother. This extraordinary family, who always show affection for each other, regularly move through the tourism zones, delighting visitors.
His daughters are getting bigger and stronger with every passing day and the protective dad has been trying to expand his cub’s territory, having been spotted clashing with formidable tigress Satra in the process.
These life stories were brought to you after years of careful observation, notes and photography Aditya Singh is a principal contributor together with many of Ranthambhore’s nature guiding community, and the success of Tigerwatch’s ongoing intelligence.
Credits: Tiger Nation