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Remembering Meera


RIP T37 (C) MD Parashar

RIP T37 (C) MD Parashar

It is always sad when a tiger dies, with numbers dwindling by the day and poaching, and human-animal conflict at an all-time high, we can ill afford fatalities to the feline population. It is perhaps sadder when it is a tiger you have seen and come to really like. T37, the resident female of the Kuwalji area of the Ranthambore National Park died yesterday from what seem to be natural causes. Meera, as she was also called, was a tigress in her prime. She had moved into the said area of the park a few years back with her brother T36. The Kuwalji area was declared open for tourists only this season and has at times seen more tiger sightings than the main Zones (1 to 5) and the credit for that goes to T37. The dominant male of the park, T42, is seldom seen as like most male tigers he has a large area under his command.

I have had 2 encounters with T37 – the first one was a few weeks back when we saw her within minutes of entering the park. The thing which struck me was her size and her fabulous coat colour perhaps accentuated by the fact that it was winter and the added fur does make these tigers look resplendent. We had the great privilege of seeing her from very close quarters for the best part of 2 hours before she quietly slid into the foliage for her daytime siesta.

The second encounter was just a few days back when she enthralled over 50 people near the Chakal River. As she took a measured leap across a nallah and melted into the night – little was I to know that this would be the last time I would get to see her.

Great things were expected from her, she had only recently mated and there was a good chance that she would give birth to tiny cubs very soon. What a pity!

This incident now also puts a big question mark on the future of the male who will now roam further in search of a mate and although he is more than capable of taking care of himself, the chance of run-ins with other males has now increased.

Meera – you may be gone but you shall not be forgotten.

P.S: Meera aka T37 died on 18.03.2013 due to natural causes.

Author- Sriskandh Subramanian


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