Stranger two arrives
As summer arrives early at Ranthambore, the fight for dominance intensifies further. Resources become scarce which leads to fights over control of the area and subsequently weaker ones are forced to move out. This summer is no different either -First T28 the resident male was pushed out by a younger male T91 who not only claimed stake over the area but also on the current Queen – Arrowhead aka T84. While it was thought that he is now settled comfortably and would continue to rule this prized piece of wild real estate, there is a twist in the tale. There is one more contender for land as well lady & this stranger means business as well.
T91- one of the male cubs of T30 was first sighted at lakes almost a year back in March 2016 and then there were frequent sightings around Mandook till June 2016 before the park closed on account of annual rains. Around this time the father-son duo Star Male aka T28 and his young male cub T85 Pacman were also trying to keep control of the lakes which finally ended once Pacman got pushed out. Would like to point out a fact that generally male cubs do not stay back in the same area where they were born, female cubs do get a part of their mother’s territory and then can further expand once the mother is either dead or pushed away by her daughter. Male cubs continue to move away from their natal territory in search of their land and lady till they find a place of their own. Normally it has been observed that male cubs from non-tourism areas occupy tourism areas post-dispersal and those born in the tourism area move to non-tourism areas.
Ever since his arrival at Lakes T91 managed to get the attention of T84 aka Arrowhead who secured her
control over lakes post a fierce family battle which resulted in her mother T19 moving out and occupying the same area where her mother T16 aka Machli lived post she was pushed out of lakes not so long ago. She also pushed her sister Lightning aka T83 who is now occupying the area where her grandmother Machli lived the last few years of her life. Post a little resistance and tension they both seem to have accepted each other's presence and were sighted together on multiple occasions including mating in February 2017. Hopefully, if all goes well, they would contribute to carrying the legacy of the great Machli clan further
While it was thought things were sorted & this young male is in complete control of the lakes there is a new
twist in the tale. One more male was sighted nearby, identified as a T87 male cub of T8 from her third litter who post-separation was living around the Jhoomar Bawri area of the park. Born sometime in 2014 in a litter of two male cubs he probably separated from his mother at the end of December 2015 / January 2016 and was first sighted in camera trap images around Feb 2016. Both the males are born in 2014 so are almost similar in age and size, it would be interesting to figure out which one of these young Turks holds the ground and continues to rule over lakes.
As far as Arrowhead is concerned, she seems to have made her choice pretty clear & is so far tilted towards T91 and not this new guy.