Ranthambore National Park and the Tigress Machli

There was a time when thousands of tigers roamed the jungles of India. But indiscriminate poaching and killing during tiger shoots by the maharajas has seen their population dwindling to just a few hundred. The government of India has now set up game reserves at various places to care for the Tiger to prevent it becoming  extinct.

One of the game reserves is at Rathambore in the state of Rajasthan. Here the game wardens make all out efforts to preserve the tiger. The beneficiary of this largesse is an ageing tigress named Machli. The information Machli in Hindi method a fish. The tiger got its name because her confront reminds one of a fish with all its stripes. The tigress is now 15 years old, which is the life span of a tiger. consequently the tigress is on her last legs and unable to hunt for her prey.

To help the tigress the game wardens tie a lamb or Calf to a tree in the forest, so that the tigress can prey on the animal. In case the calf or lamb was not given to her, the tigress would just die as she is old and infirm. The park director RS Shekhawat personally overseas the complete operation. Machli has littered 11 cubs at the park and Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) gave her a life time Achievement Award in April last year.

Machli has lost 3 teeth in fights with crocodiles and has also killed 3 of them when they threatened her litter. Machli lives at the parks Lakarda area.In her chief she ruled a lot of areas of the park and was a great tourist allurement. It is estimated that the tigress has earned over $ 10 million towards the economy of Rathambore.

Tigers are a protected species and the care that Machli receives augers well for the other tigers in addition. We can hope that the tiger will not become extinct.

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