Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is on the border with Nepal. A tigress named Beldanda living in the reserve had lost her entire litter of five cubs last year. On this occasion rangers came across the body of one of her four cubs killed by a male tiger. As they approached, the mother appeared, saw the cub and nuzzled the body before lingering and then returning to the jungle to take care of her remaining cubs.
The park director, Sanjay Pathak, said that the rangers were just 50 metres away and that looking at the tigress and her cub was heartrending particularly as she had lost her entire litter the year before. Sanjay said that the mother was mourning the loss of her young.
In reaction to this tragic loss, the park rangers decided to take special steps to protect the tigress’ remaining cubs. They closed the main road inside the park so that the six-year-old mother and her cubs would remain undisturbed by vehicles and tourists. Further, they have dug more watering holes for the tigers to allow them to drink without travelling so far. They’ve also upped the patrolling of the area to protect the tigers and kept her location secret to prevent poachers.
Finally, local villagers who depend upon the forest in the reserve for food and wood have been told to stay away because tigers need an isolated environment to raise their cubs. The first few months of life are critical because there is a high mortality rate as they are vulnerable to male tigers. They are concerned that cubs could grow to become rivals for their territory. Other predators such as leopards and bears can also kill cubs. Only about half of those born reach maturity. There are 69 tigers in this reserve and about 2,967 tigers in total in India according to government statistics.
Tigress and her cubs walk up to Dudhwa Reserve rangers
This is in the news as well. I don’t know whether this is the same tigress who encountered officials at a different time. The tigress has cubs and she walks up to the rangers who excitedly take photographs and video the encounter. The moment was fleeting and she disappeared into the darkness of the jungle and as you can see it’s at night so the image quality is poor.
— Ramesh Pandey IFS (@rameshpandeyifs) November 9, 2020
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The tigress is with four cubs which sort of indicates to me that this is the same tigress because in the story above she had four cubs initially and one was killed by a male tiger.