Unnis (Krishna)


downloadUnnis was initially the shy one of the litter, as a cub staying close to her famous mother and sister at all times. When it was time for her to strike out on her own, quiet Unnis had little choice but to take over the “leftovers” of her mother Machali’s territory.  Supporting herself in this harsh and unforgiving environment was difficult. Timid Unnis kept to herself avoiding humans and other tigers.

However, its all changed today. After finding mate Sitara, she becme a mother to three cubs – two males and one female. Now, Unnis is starting to show her real strengths as a powerful hunter and mother, and after her sister’s disapperance from the lakes area, Unnis has moved in . Her first litter have all grown up, and now she is the ‘Lady princess of the lakes’.

Her two sons (T64 & T65) are still today within her Rajbagh territory and she gave birth to her second litter in Feb 2014.

Could she follow in her famous mother’s footsteps?

Age: 8 years old (adult)
Name Meaning: ‘Nineteen’ in Hindi
Code: T19
First seen: October 2006
Gender: Female
Notable marks: Double parallel ‘eyebrows’ over her right eye and two – pronged – fork mark on her left cheek
Four tigers walking on the forest tracks of Ranthambore tiger reserve
Satra, Athara and Unnis were born during the 2006 monsoon months to tigress Machali and T2, Ranthambhore’s dominant male.  At first, Machali kept the cubs between the lakes and Nalghati and rarely ventured out of this area. The territory boasts a high density of sambar deer (India’s largest deer species) on which the cubs were raised.
Unnis and her young sons cool off in 47 degree heat in 2012 (c) Anurag Sharma

Unnis and her young sons cool off in 47 degree heat in 2012 (c) Anurag Sharma

Unnis had to wait to take her over territory from her more dominant sisters, Stara, who ended by taking over her famous mother’s territory of the lakes, and her sister was translocated to Sariska. Unnis settled into the Lahpur Valley and welcomed her first litter of two males and one female sired by mate Sitara in December 2010. here she brought up her cubs with skill and tenderness, and the cubs where seen occasionally as they grew up, and Unnis began to loose her shyness.

In the winter of 2012 her sister, now with three young cubs was having a serious clash with the dominant male in her territory, Sitara, as he believed that Satra’s cubs where not his progeny – a dangerous assumption for young cubs.

The result was a battle that left both tigress and tiger injured, but fearing for her youngsters she fled to the protection of her cubs father, Dollar in the Kachida area of the park. This move gave Unnis the opportunity to come back home, to take Satra’s vacant territory. It was an ideal time as her cubs were now reaching independence and she was ready to have another litter.

Close up of Unnis at full throttle in an ambush (c) Bobby Bhargava

Close up of Unnis at full throttle in an ambush (c) Bobby Bhargava

She has since developed into a relaxed and beautiful young mother, and been seen hunting, flirting and mating with both Dollar and Sitara in April 2013.  Her two eldest sons (Akash T64 & Suraj T65) of her first litter are still be allowed to live under her protection around the Rajbagh lake. Will their father allow this state of affairs to continue for much longer?

Unnis (T19) lactating heavily in mid february 2014. First sign of a new litter (c) Bobby Bhargava

Unnis (T19) lactating heavily in mid february 2014. First sign of a new litter (c) Bobby Bhargava

Finally after many false hopes Unnis gave birth to a new litter in early Feb 2014. Exact litter size still to be confirmed.

Follow Unnis here on Tiger Nation

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