Panna Tiger Reintroduction ….Three Tigerfull years
26th December is a Mile Stone day for Panna Tiger Reintroduction Project. It was on this day in 2009 when the dedicated and determined Panna Team rescued the T3 (male tiger) (who was moving outside the park area) and re-released him in the park for the second time paving the way for further success that was achieved at Panna in last three years.
It is important to look back to recapture the essence of this first and most successful tiger conservation programme of recent times. T1 (Tigress from Bhandhavgarh) and T2 (Tigress from Kanha) were brought into Panna in March 2009. By the time they were brought the original and left out male tiger population of Panna left the scene making Panna a ‘zero’ tiger park. Then a comprehensive Tiger Reintroduction Project was conceived in technical collaboration of Wildlife Institute of India. After getting green signal from National Tiger Conservation Authority the project moved forward.
The Panna Tiger Reintroduction Project envisaged reintroducing six tigers in all including the earlier two females as a part of founder population to start with (Two males and four females). Accordingly male tiger from Pench (T3) was brought in the month of November 2009 which after staying for a short while moved out the park. Some say that it was for the first time that a ‘homing’ instinct was observed in a wild tiger. T3 was always moving in the southern direction was his home Pench was located. He travelled more than 450 km during that one month outing. Once he was re-released in the park for the second time there was no looking back. He met and made friend ship with both T1 and T2 and both littered in no time. T1 gave birth to four cubs in the mid April 2010 springing a surprise on every tiger conservationist. T2 also declared that she was not lagging behind by giving birth to four more cubs in the month of October 2010.
With T4 (orphaned and hand reared tigress from Kanha) altogether a new chapter in tiger conservation history was created at Panna. T4 is an orphaned tiger cub of just 15 days old along with two other siblings when her mother was killed at Kanha. Management picked up litter of three cubs of this mother and hand reared them with a plan to re-wild them. T4 was first among them to be picked up for this task and Panna was selected to experiment this new window of Tiger Conservation. T4 was reintroduced for re-wilding at Panna in the month of March 2011. T4 struggled in the initial months and T3 helped her to learn the art of hunting in the wild and her re-wilding process. T4 touched a new milestone when she delivered two cubs in the mid November 2011 declaring to the world that She is the first to achieve such a rare feat. Subsequently T5 (sibling of T4) was also released at Panna in the month of September 2011.
T1 and T2 delivered their second litters in 2012 with four and three cubs respectively. Thus Panna is rated as the most successful and tigerfull tiger conservation project after a debacle. Of the envisaged six tigers that were to be reintroduced five tigers were reintroduced successfully which includes re-wilding of two tigresses. Reintroduction of second male tiger was postponed for technical reasons. As on date Panna’s reintroduced tigers gave birth to 17 cubs in less than three years of which two tiger cubs and one sub-adult tigers died and one cub was abandoned. Thus as on today Panna Park is filled with five adult and thirteen cubs to sub-adult tigers, totaling 18 tigers in less than three years. Panna management remembers 26th December as an important day and draws energy from such milestones to rededicate itself for the cause of tiger conservation. Let every one of us join this endeavour of saluting our National Honour.
Panna Tiger Reserve
Panna - 488001
Ph - 07732-252135 (off), 252120 (Fax)