*Panna Tiger Reserve witnesses a “global first” – the successful breeding of an orphaned tigress.* Fantastic news from one of my favourite National Parks. I first visited Panna in 2004 and was lucky enough to see my first tiger in the wild. I’d joined our groundbreaking India Tiger Study Tour and was out in a vehicle doing transects and identifying species with our researchers when we came across some flattened grass and a sambar deer who had just fallen prey to a male tiger. We were the first to spot this big cat so radioed the park rangers and were lucky enough to go on elephant back safari to see him sleeping off his lunch!

*Panna National Park, India*Great news. The orphaned tigress relocated from Kanha National Park 6 years ago has not only found her mate but has become a global first by breeding and giving birth to two healthy cubs.

“It is a rare and beautiful story of survival whereby a hand-reared orphaned cub fulfilled her destiny to adapt to the wild and become a mother. The Panna Tiger Reserve proudly stands witness to this achievement—a first globally,” PTR field director R.S. Murthy told The Hindu.

There are five tigers -four females and a male in Panna, all reintroduced after 2009 when it was feared that Panna’s tigers had all but disappeared.

Of the four females, three have managed to breed successfully, but, it is the first time in the world, claim officials that an orphaned tigress has
mated successfully and given birth to two healthy cubs.

This Valentine’s day, the Panna team discovered two “perfect and separate tracts” of cub pugmarks, along with those of her mother in the Madla Range of Panna Tiger Reserve.

Moved by the development, the team dedicated this Valentine’s day to all orphaned tiger cubs of the world and decided to observe 14th February as the ‘Orphaned Tiger Cubs Day’.

“Just three years ago, Panna was in the news for all the wrong reasons. But he Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and PTR team have turned the tables on the critics by achieving this rare feat,” said Mr. Murthy. Join our India Tiger Study Tour departing next month which supports tiger conservation and offers your chance to track tigers in Panna and Bandhavgarh National Parks.

Thanks for reading

Justin Wateridge

Author: Justin Wateridge