January 24, 2024 – In an unprecedented wildlife event, a male tiger believed to have strayed from Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan has embarked on a remarkable journey, covering approximately 125 kilometers to reach Rewari, a district south of Gurgaon. The discovery has sparked joint efforts from forest and wildlife teams in Haryana and Rajasthan to track and monitor the tiger, identified as ST-2302.
Pugmarks Unveiling the Tiger’s Odyssey
The extraordinary journey began when wildlife officials observed pugmarks outside the boundaries of Sariska Tiger Reserve on Wednesday, eventually leading them to Alwar. The three-year-old tiger made headlines when it ventured into Sukh Kheda village near the Rajasthan-Haryana border town of Bhiwadi, where it unexpectedly attacked a farmer, Raghuveer Yadav, in his mustard field on Thursday afternoon.
A Tiger’s Uncharted Territory
Alwar forest officer AK Srivastava promptly alerted the Haryana wildlife department about the incident, shedding light on the tiger’s movements. The big cat likely followed the course of the seasonal Sahibi river, meandering from Alwar into the Haryana Aravalis, an area with no recorded tiger sightings in recent memory.
Village Precautions and Wildlife Response
In response to the tiger’s presence, villagers in the Masani area have been advised to stay indoors between 5 pm and 7 am. Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest MS Mallik emphasized the importance of reporting any cattle attacks to the forest department. Meanwhile, wildlife officials are closely monitoring the tiger’s movements and have implemented precautionary measures, including the placement of cages and baits, to ensure the safety of both residents and the tiger.
The Natural Wanderlust of Tigers
Experts in wildlife conservation highlight that sub-adult tigers, like ST-2302, often exhibit exploratory behavior and may venture into new territories. While the incident is a rarity, it aligns with the natural tendencies of tigers to explore beyond established boundaries. SP Yadav, Additional Director General of Forest (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, expressed confidence that the tiger is likely to return to its home territory without the need for tranquilization.
The tiger’s journey into Haryana’s Aravalis is a testament to the dynamic nature of wildlife and the interconnectedness of ecosystems. As joint efforts continue to track and monitor ST-2302, wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists await the safe return of the majestic creature to Sariska Tiger Reserve, marking a unique chapter in India’s wildlife conservation narrative.