Vijaya – Death of the one-eyed princess. The post mortem by Kay Tiwari

Vijaya, only two montsh ago with her three youngsters (c) Shivang Mehta
Vijaya, only two montsh ago with her three youngsters (c) Shivang Mehta

Since the monsoon began in Bandhavgarh there has been nothing but bad news. In Milchaini a young male was found dead after a fight with a stronger tiger – but reported to have been killed by an elephant sent out to report on its condition. Then reports of maneaters in Khitauli and the heated debatesabout what do about this thorny problem. And now the astonishing news that Vijaya (better known as Kankatti) is dead.

Her body was discovered on the morning of the 6th August lying near the MPT compound. She was partially decomposed and torn open on the left rear flank. It appeared the tigress had died two or three days previously and her body had lain undiscovered. The day before it had rained heavily all day and much flooding had occurred with the Chukradhara stream higher than we have ever seen it. This would certainly not have helped in identifying the course of death and had possibly washed the body into its present position. However, it has been reported that there were bite marks on the body and wounds. One side the right flank was identifiable and confirmed the body was indeed that of the tigress Vijaya. It is thought now that she had died from loss of blood after a tremendous fight.

As we had all known her, she was barve and ferocious fighter and would have fought to the end, but with which opponent we will probably never know.

What about her 4 month old cubs?


Naturally, since her discovery and resultant Hindu cremation,  the search has been on to find the cubs or at least determine their present condition. Sadly this very afternoon two were discovered dead near the remains of a chital kill. The third was seen nearby and I believe has been captured or surrounded by fencing. What will happen to this single cub is unsure as a compound in Jhorjhora may be a very poor and lonely existence for such a youngster, now only 4 months old. The dice are stacked again its survival.

Who is the culprit?


Somanshu, Vijaya's son in Chakradhara. Surely he is not to blame! (c) 2014
Somanshu, Vijaya’s son in Chakradhara. Surely he is not to blame! (c) 2014

It is hard to say?  There are several young males in the area including her son, Somanshu and Ondrilla’s now two year old cubs, but I would doubt these have the strength to overcome this fiesty tigress. Then there is the dominant male Jobhi but he has been seen in her company so why would he choose to kill one of his females. He would certainly have the strength and power but his range covers Vijaya ‘s territory and she knows him now. This fight appears like a fight with an unknown marauder.

Could this be the work of the aggressive and unpredictable male from Magdhi that no one knows the ancestory of?  He is a dicey male that snarls at everything and is thought to be the tiger that fought in July in Milchaini. Could he have reached to Chorbehra and be challenging for space here. The Forest Dept say there is a male about but which one it is, is not at all clear. All thought it to be Jobhi but maybe another has turned up as Rahasy did last season. Indeed, has he returned to wreck havoc again?

Cold winter mornings in Vijaya's Chakradhara meadow (c) Kay Hassall Tiwari
Cold winter mornings in Vijaya’s Chakradhara meadow (c) Kay Hassall Tiwari

Once again Chakradhara, our magic meadow falls silent and is left bereft.

Will one of Vijaya’s neices relish its beauty and the harvest of its bounty and once more breathe life into the heart of this normally peaceful playground.

Credits: Tiger Nation



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