One of the Grande Dames of the last decade in Bandhavgarh, at age 15 Pyari, (also called the Chakradhara female) will see her legacy continue in the park’s future offspring. She has mothered five litters and a total of seventeen cubs, the majority of which reached maturity.
Although moody and unpredictable, Pyari was an amazing mother and her legacy will now live on in Panna Tiger reserve too – where her daughter Heera (P13) was recently relocated.
Born in 1996 to a litter of three cubs, Pyari was the daughter of famous tigress Sita and charismatic, aptly named male Charger.
Together with her sister Reshma, they were to fulfil their destiny as matriarchs, giving birth to a total of over 35 cubs between them.
For the majority of her life, Pyari has occupied one of the prime areas of the park, the Chakradhara meadows and forests near the fort and the fort plateau.
By 2000 she had had her first litter of two cubs with the dominant male, Sundar (B2) – her constant companion, protector, and what we believe to be her only successful suitor over the next decade.
Her third litter of three cubs only survived a few months before they died from mysterious causes during the monsoon rains.
Soon after in 2004, Pyari had her fourth litter of which her daughter, Bhitri was eventually relocated to Panna Tiger reserve in 2009 to replenish numbers. This daughter now has cubs and her legacy will live on far away from her original home. Pyari’s son from this litter – the enormous Shashi (P10) – was to enjoy great success as well, becoming the dominant male of the Tala Range.
Few tigresses survive long enough to raise five litters or more but in December 2008, Pyari gave birth yet again, this time to three sons and one daughter.
Of a total of 17 cubs, 13 lived to maturity, filling the park with their own progeny – proof that when tigers have access to water, prey, and protection, the population thrives.
However Pyari’s popularity among visitors to the park was tarnished when in March 2010, she was accused of killing a young village girl who was collecting Mahua near her village, prompting the Forest Department to keep her young family under increased surveillance.
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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. Read their blogs and diaries here.
Credits: Tiger Nation