Bhopal: A 17-year-old tigress who gave birth to 29 cubs died of old age in Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Reserve.
`Collarwali’, also known as T-15, had given birth to 29 cubs in eight litters from 2008 and 2018. She had earned the tag of “supermom”. Visuals showed several locals attending the funeral of the tigress, who was last seen on January 14 by the reserve visitors. Some were seen with garlands, others with folded hands to pay their last respects to the most photographed tigress.
“Tribute to the ‘Super Tigress Mom’ Collarwali of @PenchMP, the pride of Madhya Pradesh and mother to 29 cubs, who played an important role in achieving the Tiger State status for MP. The forests of Madhya Pradesh will always resonate with the roar of the cubs of the ‘Queen’ of Pench Tiger Reserve,” Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet.
Several others also took to Twitter to pay tribute to “Collarwali”.
“The Queen #collarwali is no more! Died because of old age! Leaving behind her legacy and her 29 cubs. Her contribution is immense in restoring back the ecological balance by improving the tiger population in India ????” a user tweeted.
“Called as the mother of Pench. Just imagine how her bloodline has helped in bouncing back the tiger population in India,” tweeted IFS officer Parveen Kaswan.
Collarwali is also one of the most photographed tigresses in the world.
A Pench Reserve’s press release said that the tigress died at around 6.15 pm on Saturday at the Karmajhiri range of the reserve.
A team of foresters had been keeping a watch on the big cat’s health for the past one week, it said, adding that the tigress died due to old age.
The carcass was disposed of as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines and its viscera is being sent to laboratories for examination, the release said.
The tigress was radio-collared in March 2008. She was again radio-collared in January 2010 after the previous one stopped functioning. The tigress later became famous as ‘Collarwali’, a name fondly given by the locals.
Madhya Pradesh, with 526 big cats, had emerged as the “tiger state” of the country in 2018.