The roars of Lightning and Cowboy will soon be heard in the Mukundra Hills tiger reserve, where they are being shifted from Ranthambore in what will be India’s first relocation of big cats to decongest a wildlife habitat.
Tigers have been relocated in India to repopulate dying reserves — Sariska (Rajasthan) in 2004 and Panna (Madhya Pradesh) in 2010 — but never before has territorial infighting due to congestion been the reason for a move.
In the last few years, the forest department has recorded at least eight incidents of territorial ‘cat fights’ in Rajasthan’s Ranthambore, which has India’s third-highest tiger density after the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, with an estimated 60 tigers in 392 sq kms.
“The idea is to provide a safe place to the tigers because Ranthambore’s core area is now cramped,” said deputy conservator of forests, Kota, S R Yadav. Ranthambore …