Thirty Three (33) different Tigers sighted in Kanha since park reopened in October 2016

Different Tigers sighted in Kanha
Tigers of Kanha

Is it true? Yes, it is true, and speaks volumes about the efforts by the forest department in conserving Tigers and wildlife in Kanha. While many talk about the number of Tigers poached this year, very few discuss the number of different Tigers being sighted. Thirty Three different Tigers, including 11 cubs, is a healthy number, and that too just in the tourism zone. Please remember that these are not the numbers given by the forest department. But these are the Tigers sighted by the tourists. There is a documental evidence of the same. Significantly, this has been recorded in just 45 days. Besides, it is also reported that there are two pregnant Tigresses in this list, hence this number of 33 Tigers is bound to go up further soon. These many different Tigers sighted in Kanha is indeed good news for Kanha.

In October 2016 we heard about two Tigers getting poached and one Tiger dying in territorial fight. While nothing can be done about saving Tigers in a territorial fight, but in poaching it was done. The poachers of one Tiger were caught within 30 hours of the Tiger being found dead. Such a prompt action by the department is commendable, suggests dedication of the team towards the cause. Four people involved in the crime were arrested. On investigation it was revealed that they were local villagers who had laid a trap to get a wild boar or some large herbivore. But the Tiger walked in the area and was trapped. Unfortunate but true. The second poaching case is being investigated still. It is a matter of concern but i would still like to compliment the department for keeping these numbers to minimum.

With 22 adults, and 11 cubs the times ahead for Kanha look good. These are only the tourism zone figures, and the tourism zone is about 20% of the total area of Kanha. The latest camera trap census estimated that Kanha has over 110 Tigers as on date.  Of the total 22 adults sighted in the tourism zones of Mukki, Kanha, Kisli and Sarhi, there are 9 male Tigers. So the male to female ratio though not ideal, but it is close to being ideal. These are positive signs for the Tigers of Kanha.

Some experts had indicated that even if the Tigers disappear from rest of the protected areas, Kanha will still be amongst the last bastions of the Tiger besides Corbett. This forecast has been true so far, and i think it will remain true until something untoward happens.

List of Tigers sighted since October 2016 in Kanha include:

  1. Rajaram aka Kingfisher (died in a territorial fight in October 2016)
  2. Chotta Munna, aka Link 7
  3. Umarpani male
  4. Bheema
  5. Bajrang
  6. Jamun tola male
  7. Karai ghati male aka Dabang
  8. Junior Kankatta
  9. Supkhar male
  10. Munna
  11. Choti mada with two cubs
  12. Mahaveer feamle with 3 cubs
  13. Dhawajhandi female
  14. Umarjhola female
  15. Distt line female
  16. Neelam (pregnant)
  17. Link 8 female (pregnant)
  18. Link 7 female with 4 cubs aka Mundi Dadar female
  19. Unknown female with two cubs near Indri camp
  20. Female near Chimta camp
  21. Budbudi female, and
  22. Jamun Talab female

Conserving Tigers is not an easy task by any yard of imagination. Tigers roam free in large areas without boundaries, and with no technological surveillance yet. It is heard that soon there will be Drones to monitor them. With many villages around the parks, highways, inadequate forest guards, bio mass dependancy, forests and wildife are a soft target. But the forest department works relentlessly. They risk their lives from dangerous predators, stay away from families so that the forests can be preserved. Their sacrifice is hardly seen forget being appreciated.

I pray that you are able to sight many Tigers on your visits to Kanha. But a humble request to you all that please enjoy the park in it’s entirety. Yearning for Tigers alone can be a tad disappointing, hence appreciate the smell, sight, and sounds of Kanha. Trust me, it will leave you enthralled.

Best Wishes

Sharad Vats

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Sharad

I have been doing Safaris in India since 1990. My love for Tigers and Wildlife has taken me to many popular and many not so popular national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India. Seen many parks grow in front of my eyes. Saw Panna and Sariska lose it's Tigers, and again back on their feet. Saw revival of species like Hard ground Barasingha, Rhinos, Asiatic Lions, Tigers and the efforts involved to conserve them.

5 thoughts on “Thirty Three (33) different Tigers sighted in Kanha since park reopened in October 2016”

  1. Thanks. I read your blog with great interest. Am a wildlife lover and was in Kanha last year. Loved the forest and its divergent wild life though I did not have the good fortune to see a tiger on the many safaris that I went on.

    So great is this forest that I plan to return this year. Sad to hear about the passing away of bheema and kingfisher. I did look out for them in my various safaris to mukki zone but no luck

    I just read another blog which states a tiger named dabang as the largest tiger in kanha these days. Is that true or is umarpani male still the biggest.

    Any which ways please continue writing your wonderful blog as we see the jungle through your eyes

  2. Dear Kevin,

    Many thanks for your kind words. Good to hear that you too are a Kanha lover. Tiger sighting is always a matter of chance, one does not see Tiger in every safari or every visit. But going with right guides and drivers does improve the chances considerably, but no guarantees whatsoever. The fun is in the search. 2016 ended with Kanha losing two big male Tigers, but it was something we all were expecting for a couple of years. It is survival of the fittest in the wild. Kingfisher and Bheema were both big Tigers, but Umarpani is bigger, and more powerful. Karaighati male, aka Dabang is also a big Tiger. I have seen his images, and not been fortunate to see him in person yet. From the photos he looks big, and is surely a good contender to Umarpani male. But what stands out in favor of Umarpani is his huge face, lot of muscle mass, overall length, and even height. But one thing that does not go in favor of Umarpani male is that he is quite a shy Tiger does not show up too often, so not many people get to see him. But there have been few who have seen both, and have assessed that Umarpani seems to be bigger as on date.

    I hope you see some Tigers soon in Kanha, hopefully Dabang or Umarpani for yourself to decide.

    Best Wishes

    Sharad

  3. Dabang Karai Ghati male is no match for Umarpani male in height length or head size. In terms of bulkiness he is the same bulky, but due to the smaller frame, he’s a smaller tiger overall compared to Uma male or Bhima for that matter. Anyone who claims Dabang as the biggest tiger of kanha is either misinformed or just wants to glorify their favorite tiger.

  4. Dear Sharad

    Many thanks for your response. As I am planning to go to kanha in April/may and staying at Khalid gate I was wondering which are the zones that should be done especially in the morning for a good tiger sighting.

    Given its distance Mukki is a real no go for an evening safari.

    I am also very interested in sightings of the dhole and sloth bear. Both which I understand are extremely rare. I recollect the guides saying that these are more prevalent in sarhi since it is dense forest

    Thanks in advance for your advice
    Best regards

  5. Dear Kevin,

    Currently sightings in Mukki and Kisli are good. Kanha zone is lukewarm currently. Evening remain in Kisli, morning try and focus on Mukki or Kisli. If you really want good sightings of Sloth Bear then Satpura is amazing. While Dholes are good in Tadoba. In Kanha the Dhole population is dipped drastically in the tourism areas.

    Wishing you good sightings during your trip.

    Best Wishes

    Sharad

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