Vijaya – what happens now? by Akash Panchbudhe

Last Click of Vijaya - I got lucky to see this beautiful tigress just a day before the park was about to get closed for the monsoon, (c) 2014
Last Click of Vijaya – I got lucky to see this beautiful tigress just a day before the park was about to get closed for the monsoon, (c) 2014

By Akash Panchbudhe

We all are getting updates about the recent happening in the park, It is disappointing to know about the Tiger Attacks and Tiger’s death in central India.

As we all know about the great flora and fauna of Bandhvagarh National Park, we also know how much tigers are important to all the tiger reserve. With the news of tiger’s death,the question arises that how we are gonna reach our goal of saving them.

Apart from the wildlife and mythological importance of Bandhavgarh, it has got lot of attention because of its famous & interesting folklore of the Tigers like CHARGER, SITA AND B2.

One more tigress at present was gaining much attention. She was named KANKATI (Vijaya) , She got so much famed and got this name when she was being uniquely identified by the cut on her ear, but her ferocious act fighting with another tigress and killing her and eating her body parts, gave her a prominent personality status among st all the bandhavgarh wildlife loving fans. The folklore for this tigress has reached its conclusion with her reported death. After matching the strip pattern, dead body was identified as Kankati Tigress.

It was all almost for sure that the any local guide or any naturalist will tell about the life of Kankati to their guests,after listening about her everyone became curious to see her and gets curious to know more about her. Unfortunately we have now stories only to talk.

She left her 3 small cubs of around 5 month old, and in a search operation of finding the cubs, the forest guards found two cubs lying dead near to Chital Kill. One cub is still missing, Its a critical time for the cub to survive, as per the last practice in such kind of incidence, the forest department started the practice of raising the cubs in an enclosure, but to raise such a small cubs in an enclosure is a challenging task.

Death of Tigress Called Kankati

A Tiger body was discovered on the morning of 6th August lying behind the MPT Resort Compound, The body was decomposed and teared out from the left flank, It seemed from the initial investigation that the dead body was around 2-3 day old, postmortem team also reported that there were some injury marks on her body.

As we all know she was a bold and ferocious tigress in the reserve, the cause for the death is still uncertain, as its difficult to reach to a conclusion that which tiger would have done this?

Well the big thing is not the question that which tiger would have done this, the question is there anything which can be done to save the tigers from such incidence?

It has also happened in the past that the tigers inside the reserve died during the heavy monsoon period inside the reserve. Last year, (2013) close to the arrival of monsoon, the last litter of kankati (chakradhara female) lost her all the 3 cubs, one of the reason for the loss was the new male roaming in her territory, and might have killed the cubs as the cubs doesn’t belongs to the new male.

After this incident, Banvehi tigress (Wakeeta) of another region inside the park lost all her 4 cubs. 3 male cubs of another tigress are also facing a tough competition to establish their territories inside the park, Out of 4 lactating female in the Tala Rage, only Rajbahera tigress has successfully raised her litter of 4, which are now at the age of dispersal.

Overall the tiger activity in the Tala Range of the Reserve will be limited and we might miss the great sightings happened in the past.

So, now the most prime area of the park is not being used by the dominant tigers. Areas having most of tiger sighting in the past is now vacant..which ultimately gives opportunities for the transient tigers roaming inside the reserve to establish their new territories.

Hopes for improving the scenario is the female in different zones of bandhavgarh,

1. Sukhi Patiha Female (Yoshila) : 2 Female Cubs, now around 25 month old, These sub adults are now successfully hunting by themselves, and making their territory close to the mother’s territory in Magdhi Range.

2. Two Tigress in Khitauli Range : These 2 females with their 3-3 small cubs have been sighted on and off this summer. But the habitat in Khitauli range needs less of human disturbance and a healthier prey base to accommodate these two female to raise their litter.

3. 2 Tigress :Vanvehi Tigress (Wakeeta) & Rajbahera Tigress (Jaya) can bring up the joy of tiger cubs now in the Tala Range, as both females are now almost going by themselves, will be looking for the mates and may give birth to young ones in the upcoming winters or may be later.

But as the season starts, We may find our majestic meadow ” Chakradhara ” bit silent…

Its disappointing to know that such incidence are not good for the conservation, but will be interesting to see how the park authorities will make their plan of action to minimize the loss from such incidence in future.

Credits: Tiger Nation 



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