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Tigress T1 who revived tiger population at Panna Reserve passes away

T1 the tigress who helped to repopulate Panna reserve with tigers passed away

Tigress T1 who will always be remembered in the history of Project Tiger passed away in Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. She is credited to a very large extent to the successful reintroduction of tigers in Panna which had become devoid of these big cats in 2009.

The 17-year-old T1 was found by a patrolling staff on Tuesday evening with her defunct radio collar found near her. She died a natural death due to old age.  Interestingly, P-151 her offspring delivered four cubs a day after her death.

Poaching and other factors had left Panna in February 2009 without any tigers. The Ministry of Environment and Forest decided in June that year to relocate a male and two female tigers to the reserve.

Initially, T1 from Bandhavgarh and another tigress T2 from Kanha National Park and a male tiger T3 from Pench Tiger Reserve were introduced in March 2009.

In course of time T1 made a remarkable contribution to the recovery of tiger numbers in Panna as she delivered 13 cubs in five litters. Her last litter was delivered in 2016.

R. Shreenivasa Murthy, who was then Field Director of PTR under whom the reintroduction of tigers was initiated, lamented T1’s demise. He described her as gentle, magnanimous, peaceful and the coolest of the tigresses he had ever seen and recalled how she shared her territory with other tigresses and her daughters.

Talking to TOI he said: “She was one who brought happiness when the Team Panna and MP Forest Department were in despair. Her role in repopulating Panna shall be always remembered.”

Today Panna is considered as a model for tiger reintroduction project and boasts of 80 big cats including cubs and sub adults.