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Mystery Male” T-1 Tiger of Pench critically injured in a tragic hit- and– run case

Mystery Male” T-1 Tiger of Pench critically injured in a tragic hit- and-- run case.(Photo:Twitter)

The mystery tiger of Pench Tiger reserve was injured in a hit and run case on Tuesday. According to the forest officials, the 10-year-old tiger is critical as its left hind limb has been fractured.

Picture : 

Courtesy Twitter

Sharing the picture of the inured tiger and the spot where he was found and caught, the wildlife biologist and IUCN member Milind Pariwakam, wrote in his post on Twitter that the incident happened on the NH7 on the night and injured tiger could not walk away and stayed there near the spot.

According to forest officials, the next day , in the morning, a family on the way to Nagpur, stopped the car near the spot to attend nature's call. A woman of the family went inside the forest when the tiger attacked her. Hearing her screams her husband went to rescue her but he too was attacked. Both suffered minor injuries. The forest officials reached the spot and after tranquilising the tiger, they took him to the wildlife hospital.

According to Milind, the 10-year-old tiger is an adult and known as a “mystery male” of the Pench tiger reserve. The huge and husky tiger of Chorbahuli, Pench is officially known as T-1. Nobody knows where he came from, it’s a mystery, hence the name Mystery.

“The tiger in question, ‘Mystery Male’, has been camera trapped in the area since 2014, that is why it was numbered T-1. Most likely a dominant male of the area, must be using the underpasses as well as crossing from other areas on the road “at grade”, says Milind.

Camera Trap Pictures : 

Courtesy Twitter

According to Milind, this is the second incident in the last three years involving a tiger in a road accident. On February 2, 2019, a tiger was seriously injured after a speeding car hit the animal near Harnakund village on the same national highway.

“This is the 2nd such tiger incident (detected) and 4th leopard kill. And this could be the tip of the iceberg as many cases go undetected,” says Milind in his post.

While there has been fencing in Madhya Pradesh on both sides along the highway, the same is not done on the Maharashtra side of the Tiger reserve.

“The MP side of the corridor has the forest area in the ‘at-grade’ section fenced off. This leads to funnelling of wild animals towards the underpasses,” says Milind adding that despite the many requests, the Maharashtra government has failed to fence the relevant area.

Animal–human conflict has become a sticky issue for India’s national highway development programme. Many wild animals have been killed due to road accidents and speeding vehicles passing through the wildlife protected area. In 2016, the India Government decided to create underpasses to enable wild animals to cross highways wherever the highways are passing through forest areas. The first such underpass was opened in 2019. A cave-like underpass connects two famous wildlife parks Kanha and Pench in Madhya Pradesh and could be vital for the long-term viability of tiger  and other wildlife populations in central India.

Also Read : Bridges, underpasses come to the rescue of Indian wildlife

The National Highway Authority of India has decided that all highways passing through the forest areas will have under passes and over bridges for the wildlife to ensure that the animals of those  areas had the means to reach the area across the road without them having to put their lives in danger.