Madhuri (Telia Lake Tigress)

Left flank of Madhuri ID (c) Aditya Dhanwatey
Left flank of Madhuri ID (c) Aditya Dhanwatey
Right flank of Madhuri ID (c) Aditya Dhanwatey
Right flank of Madhuri ID (c) Aditya Dhanwatey

Born to be a star, she loves the attention it brings. Madhuri, meaning ‘the dancer’ in Hindi, has even perfected her own trademark, a short wiggle of the leg to keep her fans happy. This Diva is not going to be budged from her Telia dam area. She still feels at the top of her trade. Other tigresses are merely bit part players or simply tolerated visitors in her own ongoing drama.

Age: 8 years old (adult)
Name Meaning: Dancer – she waggles her back legs all the time
Code: L1 (Tad)
First seen: June 2006
Gender: Female
Notable marks: Falling leaves on her right flank
3Madhuri was born in 2006 and was always tolerant of visitors with her mother Laxmi in a prime area of the park, with her brother and sister.
Madhuri and Laxmi, mother and daughter take turns in hunting a large sambar stag at Telia lake, the sambar being hard hooved would outrun the tigeress on the rocky soil and into Telia lake. (c) Aditya Dhanwatey

As her family grew up she spent a lot of time patiently teaching them the survival skills needed to carve their own kingdoms, and one perfect example of this was
well recorded, when her mother and Madhuri, spent 24 hours stalking and eventually killing a sambar deer besides Telia lake. It was battle of wit and nerve for both predator and prey and lasted right through the night, as the hemmed in deer got caught between Telia lake, a crocodile and the tigress and her daughter. The result was inevitable.

When Laxmi her mother left to have another family with Crooked tail, she saw space in the Yenbodi, Telia lake and Kosba dam area of the Moharli range. She bore a litter of two cubs in July 2010 with Crooked tail. Soon though Crooked Tail came under a challenge from Scarface, which he lost, and Scarface took over his territory. Scarface then killed her two cubs in March 2011, so that he could start his own family.

Further capture of Madhuri & her 4 cubs on the 5th Dec 2012 (c) Farooque Khan
Further capture of Madhuri & her 4 cubs on the 5th Dec 2012 (c) Farooque Khan

By September 2011 Madhuri had given birth to 4 female cubs in the Telia Pazar area. They grow up under her care and protect as a mother, yet she was, even when her cubs were young, comfortable showing them off to visitors. Often she would weave happily in and out of the admiring traffic on a dirt road, her cubs in tow, enjoying the feeling of a royal command performance as she strolled her way up the same road, a trail of fans in her wake.

Her second litter of cubs, now called Mona, Geeta, Lara and Sonam are now some of the best known and most often seen of the tigers in the park, in prime part of the Mohurli range, including the Telai Dam, Pazar, Kosba line, tar main road and Jamunzora areas.

Follow Madhuri here and she her on her nature’s stage.

These life stories have been brought to you thanks to the records, diaries and photographs of Atul Dhamanker and Aditya Dhanwatay over the last two decades. They have been written and edited by Julian Matthews.

Credits: Tiger Nation


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