26 and counting: Pench tigress gives birth to another litter

26 and counting: Pench tigress gives birth to another litter

A 12-year-old Royal Bengal tigress, popularly known as `Collarwali', recently gave birth to four cubs in the Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh. She thus became possibly the world's only tigress to give birth to 26 cubs in the wild.

The tigress, officially designated `T-15', was the first big cat of PTR to be fitted with a radio collar (which enables tracking of the animal's movement), hence the name, `Collarwali'.

"This was the 7th litter of the tigress T-15 or Collarwali since 2008," PTR field Director Subhranjan Sen said. "I think she is the only tigress which has given birth to so many cubs in seven litters," he told PTI.

The tigress has become a major attraction of the reserve, with tourists flocking in large numbers to catch a glimpse of her. Locals say that she has become almost as popular as the legendary `Machhli' tigress of Ranthambore who died last year.

"Collarwali had given birth to 22 cubs in six litters between 2008 and 2015," said Kanha Tiger Reserve's field director Sanjay Shukla, who was earlier the Chief Conservator of Forests, Seoni, under whose jurisdiction PTR falls.

The Department of Post had issued a special cover envelope on the tigress last year. New Zealand and Canada too issued stamps on her last year, Shukla said.

The tigress lives in Karmajhiri range in the core area of PTR. The 2005-born tigress is the offspring of tiger T-1, also known as `Charger', and tigress `Badimata', said Sanjay Tiwari, a wildlife activist.

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