The tigresses were recently shifted to their cages and are under observation with regard to their behaviour with SGNP’s existing tigers.
Mumbai: Two eight-year-old tigresses, “Mastani” and “Bijlee” who were brought to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in July this year and kept in quarantine will now be made part of the tiger safari.
The tigresses were recently shifted to their cages and are now under observation with regard to their behaviour with SGNP’s existing tigers. After a month, they will be included in the safari.
Interestingly, the tigresses were named looking at their qualities. Bijlee was named thus as she was very aggressive while Mastani got her name thanks to her playfulness.
Officials however said that both animals responded well and were hence removed from their isolated cages and shifted to the tigers’ shelter. Officials expect the two tigresses to be part of the safari by end of January next year. They were initially kept in quarantine as they needed to acclimatise to being confined in an enclosed space.
They were brought to SGNP from Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve where they had an open, unrestricted habitat. Pench officials said that the two tigresses were initially residents of Bor Wildlife Sanctuary from where they were moved to a larger cage in Pench National Park after three years.
Superintendent, tiger and lion safari, SGNP, Shailesh Deore, said, “The duo has been responding well to all our efforts and we are positive in making them available for tourists and locals as part of the tiger safari by January.”
Not only were the tigresses shifted to the tigers’ shelter so that they would mingle with existing tigers but also for purposes of breeding.
SGNP currently has a total of seven tigers; four female, two male Royal Bengal, and one white tiger Bajirao. Of the seven tigers, Anand, Yash and Laxmi are the offspring of tigress Basanti. Bijlee and Mastani were brought to the park to not only increase the captive tiger population but also to address the major concern of in-breeding among the present lot that could lead to a weaker race.
The tigers are currently in shelters and will be slowly moved to primary cages and then to secondary (which are large cages). The behaviour of the animals while being moved to different cages will be observed and their responses will be noted which forms part of their training.