Jaya’s brood – a worrying monsoon? by Kay Tiwari

Jaya at rest after two years of motherhood. May 2014 (c) Peter OROLIN
Jaya at rest after two years of motherhood. May 2014 (c) Peter OROLIN

Jaya is spending little time with her two year old foursome now preferring to rest up under the cool Badhaini hill where cooling springs seep from the crevices and offer relief during hot late summer days. In Central India the monsoon has yet to arrive. Though a few welcome thunder rains have quenched a dry earth the baking sun is never far away and temperatures still reach the mid thirties.

For her son and three daughters its time to think of adulthood especially for the girls. Monsoon will mean all three will become mature enough to mate and they will no doubt draw the attention of several suitors including the big male Jobhi who may well have fathered their mother’s forthcoming litter. With both the Banbehi (Wakeeta) boys fully mature and eager plus Somanshu and the aggressive mystery boy from Magdhi on the fringes of their mother’s territory it will be an interesting time for these three sisters!

Crumbie has settled around Sukki Dam so may well come into contact with Ondrila’s maturing boy too. Most young tigers prefer to spend easy time with newcomers rather than tackle an experienced partner so it is likely she will find her monsoon time more enjoyable than Trya who is presently living around Climber Point and Sehra. This area is well attended by several males and she could find herself under the chase rather than enjoying a picnic or two.

As to Murphy she has become quite shy but is still seen in the company of her sisters and brother mainly at common meal times around Rajbehra or Nilgai Marg. It’s thought she’s trying to settle in Kanoji but with the area closed its hard to say for sure. In any case if any of these daughters settles they will steal some of their mother’s territory. We will all have to wait till next season to know the exact position and with Jaya likely to be will new cubs she will definitely want to keep the prime area of her range around Rajbehra. If the Forest Department would give back the area now in the empty Jhorjhora enclosure Jaya would certainly snap it up allowing her to claim what once was her mother Durga’s space.

Johnno, still hanging onto his mother's apron strings but for how long. June 2014 (c) Kay Hassall Tiwari
Johnno, still hanging onto his mother’s apron strings but for how long. June 2014 (c) Kay Hassall Tiwari

We must not forget Johnno too. He has grown into a handsome boy but he faces a tough time. He still follows his mother here and there and his sisters but soon he must depart for safer ground as it will be hard for this young boy to compete in as male saturated domain as Bandhavgarh is these days.

Credits: Tiger Nation



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