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October 18, 2017

Panna Tiger Reintroduction project and Bahubali 2: The story of the Panna Tigers 


R. Sreenivasa Murthy

I left Panna Tiger Reserve (as a part and parcel of  the system) in July 2015, almost two years ago. But every movement/development of Panna Tiger Population growth and population dynamics intrigues me and I follow it with awe. Most of the information comes to me on its own either (both) from outside (Panna People) or from the within the system (Park People).
A year ago, soon after the monsoons, a villager residing  on the eastern flank of the Panna Park (Panna-Amanganj side) phoned and informed me that a tiger is sitting in the bushes of his agricultural field. I told him not to disturb the tiger and to inform the same to the park authorities. Such instances were not very uncommon even now, whether a tiger migration or any other activity related to people-park issues. People from Jardhoba phoned me several times regarding their relocation and I had to pursue them to speak to the present authorities posted in the park.
Present:

In such a situation an interesting conversation about some T71 of Bandhavgargh (Tiger Reserve) appeared on social media on 31 May 2017 with a tiger moving unperturbed with lip licking posture and I reproduce the same:

Nilanjan Coomar
Great to see…if it is Panna’s tiger, but now in Bandhavgarh!
The eye to eye game continues…… Id:T-71

 

Assuming that this is a new tiger to Kithauli range of Bandhavgargh the attitude and body language of this tiger seems to perfectly fit with the hero of  Bahubali 2. Yes please recall the Bahubali- Two years ago when I had declared P212 as Bahubali1. Assuming that this is a new tiger to Kithauli range of Bandhavgargh the attitude and body language of this tiger seems to perfectly fit with the hero of  Bahubali 2. Yes please recall the Bahubali- Two years ago when I had declared P212 as Bahubali1.
My reaction to this social media conversation was instant and I reproduce it:

Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy: Is it true….I am delighted….Jai Panna Tigers,,,Jai Sherkhan….Jai Hind
June 4 at 6:21am
Then arose the question of authentication of the presumption. My answer to that question from Mr Niranjan was

Nilanjan Coomar Not fully sure if this is the case sir, I think this is just what is being reported. Stripe pattern matching to be done I guess

June 4 at 12:29pm • Edited
My answer/question to the clarification is reproduced.

Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy: Pl send me some more photos of the same with both flanks (if they are with you) in full size so that proper verification may be done. my email id is rseenu60@gmail.com and ph 9424790077
June 5 at 5:56am

Based on my queries I got the responses from different corners including one from Nilanjan Coomar. And they are:

Nilanjan Coomar: Sorry sir…as noted in the post, these pictures are not mine. I hope Mr Shekhhar Soni has other pictures that he can pass on to you.
June 5 at 9:58am

Vijayarajan Muthu: Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy Sir, here are flank shots of the Male who is believed to have migrated to Bandhavgarh (Khitauli) from Panna. It’d be great if you could kindly confirm it’s indeed true as apparently no one seems to have flank shots of each & every litter of T-1.
June 6 at 1:12pm

Then based on the photographic evidence from Bandhavgarh that I got from Mr Vijayarajan Muthu and in coordination with my earlier colleagues of park Dr Sanjeev Gupta (presently continuing as Panna Park Veterinary Officer) and Dr. Anupam Sahay IFS (presently working as DFO South Panna) who has provided me photographs and one camera trap photograph of the same tiger from park during 2015. But curiously enough, the WII team classified it as an unidentified tiger. Dr Sanjeev checked it with bad quality photographs that he had. Then I required good quality photographs to make it 100% sure to go public on this count. Dr Anupam helped me with the good quality photographs of Mr. Mohan Meena IAS who as Collector, Satna at that point of time had some good collection of photos of the tiger in question which he had clicked on 15 May 2015. This tiger was badly injured because of some in-fight or play among the siblings and his lower jaw skin and soft lower palate were hanging and we did a surgery on him on 11 April 2015 and photographs could show full recovery signs if one followed him carefully. At that time some people used to say that at Panna we are managing a Zoo by attending every tiger. But we knew what we were doing. Small intervention to help this individual tiger proved our point when he crossed all the hurdles and reached Bandhavgarh covering a distance of about 125 kms between Panna and Bandhavgarh. Thus establishing that a destined tiger can cover that distance overcoming both natural and man-made obtacles, thereby connecting both the source populations and strengthening the genes at both ends.

Then came the photo credit issue of the photographs supplied to me from Bandhavgarh and my conversation to and fro from Vijayarajan Muthu  is reproduced.

Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy: Pl send me some more photos of the same with both flanks (if they are with you) in full size so that proper verification may be done. my email id is rseenu60@gmail.com and ph 9424790077
June 5 at 5:56am

Vijayarajan Muthu: Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy Sir, here are flank shots of the Male who is believed to have migrated to Bandhavgarh (Khitauli) from Panna. It’d be great if you could kindly confirm it it’s indeed true as apparently no one seems to have flank shots of each & every litter of T-1.June 6 at 1:12pm

Then came my final answer to all and I reproduce:

Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy: Hold on for a while. Yeh Panna ki hai. I will post detailed investigation and identification report by tomorrow. Bahubali Begining ke baad Bahubali 2 aane me do sal laggaya tha..
20 hrs

Vijayarajan Muthu: Thank you so much for cracking the ID of the Tiger from Panna that has created history by safe and successful dispersal to Bandhavgarh Rangaiah Sreenivasa Murthy Sir !!! Kindly note, while the image credit of the left flank should be Akhilvijay Singh, the right flank shot belongs to Sandeep Dutta.Like at 11:32am

At this juncture every one may be curious what about me and my photographic collection? Sorry my hard disk carrying  Panna Treasure House between 2014-2015 crashed last April (2016) and I am struggling to get the files retrieved. Felt sorry about it, but thought that it is not mine. If something does not belong to you, it will never be with you… and vice versa is also 100% correct. Amen.

Now a serious business of T71’s identification-

Luckily I got the frontal, right and left flank pics of 2015 (at Panna) and 2017 (at Bandhavgargh) left flank belongs to Akhilvijay Singh, the right flank credit goes to Sandeep Dutta as the photos claim. Still I am not sure to whom the frontal view belongs to?

Based on the facial marking and stripe pattern I have identified 7 unique markings of this tiger in question and numbered them accordingly.  2015 (May and October) photographs at Panna Tiger Reserve and 2017 (June) photographs of the same individual at Bandhavgargh Tiger Reserve are depicted and these unique marking match with each other perfectly and the tiger in question. The tiger identification is  not a rocket science, it is a common sense. What all you need is to maintain a perfect photographic library of the tigers you have. If you have more resources you may maintain the genetic profile, which may be cost prohibitive and may not require for simple management of tiger population dynamics of Tiger at India as on date.



The photo showing tiger with its kill has been captured in Kaldha range of South Panna forest deivision, a resting place for tigers between Panna and Bandahvgarh. The photo was taken on October 15, 2016. This tiger got caputureed in beat Rampur PF-833.

Thus, T71 of Bandhavgargh is here by identified as P213-21 of Panna Tiger Reserve. This male tiger is the first son (male tiger) of P213’s (T2’s third daughter (female tiger) of her first litter) second litter. His Birth date is 5 December 2014 as per the monitoring records maintained by MPFD and FD, Panna TR.

Future:
Input, Output, Outcome and Implication:

Input: 24×7 monitoring, timely interventions by the dedicated Panna Team,  Jan Samarthan se Baagh Samrakhsan.

Output: This tiger might have started migrating between August 2015 and August 2016 and might have reached the nearest Tiger Source Population on the eastern corridor on its own by June 2017. I strongly belive he is a destined one to have been saved by surgery by Panna Team and survived to reach the adjoining Tiger Source Population.

Outcome: Exchange of natural Genes or gene flow between two tiger source populations in less than 7 years of human care and attention.

Implication: Critical populations like Panna can also survive if a small amount of Human care is ensued for the rest of the Nature of which the tiger is only one species. Does nature require human care or vice versa?!!?  Post script:  Anant (No Beginning no End) Bahubali 1 and Bahubali 2 of Panna:
Now comes the question of Bahubali The Begining and Bahubali 2.  Bahubali: The Beginning  (Movie) appeared on World Motion Picture arena in 2015 and P212 started  migrating to find other tiger source population in Febuary 2015 and finally could not reach either Bandhavgarh or Sanjay TRs on its own due to various anthropogenic issues. Then the Panna, Bandhvgarh and Sanjay Tiger Resrve Teams helped to him to reach Sanjay Tiger Reserve, where he fathered a litter with a resident tiger and later died. At that time I named P212 as Bahubali of Panna.  (Shall we call him Amarendra Bahubali.) Now this P213-21 steered through all the hurdles  without anyone’s aide and reached Bandhavgarh and hope he will fight it out with Ballaladev’s of Bandhavgarh and I herewith name him Bahubali 2. And I name him Amarendra Bahubali…. Bhali Bhali Bahli Bhali raa Bhali Saho re Bahubali…Jaya Haarati neeke kottali , Bhuvana lanni Jai kottali, Gananale Chatram Pattali…(Insert the song from the film if you want and elevate nature loving people around including yourselves. Yes I am hearing the title song from Bahubali 2 and on cloud 9)  Panna Tigers Jindabad…Panna and Tiger People Jindabad….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response “Panna Tiger Reintroduction project and Bahubali 2: The story of the Panna Tigers ”

  1. Sreenivasa Murthy. Rangaiah,
    June 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Namaste and thanks Lalit ji…. You are a crusader..

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