The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Thursday got its sixth tiger — Sultan — a three-year-old male, which was rescued after he was suspected of being a maneater.
Sultan has been brought to the park to boost the captive tiger population, said officials.
The tiger was at the Gorewada Zoo in Nagpur, run by the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM). Sultan’s official name is C1 and he is the cub of tigress T1 from Brahmapuri forest division. The names of the tigers are according to the forest division. (This T1 from Brahmapuri is not Avni, who was T1 from Yavatmal, who was shot dead on November 2, 2018).
Sultan was rescued on July 12, 2018, from the Sindevahi range. The transfer of the tiger was approved by the chief wildlife warden, Maharashtra forest department, and the Central Zoo Authority earlier this year. SGNP has four female Royal Bengal tigers — Basanti, 18, who is the oldest, Bijlee and Mastani, both 8, Laxmi, 9 — and one male, Anand, who is 10 years old.
According to the park officials, the SGNP team had left Gorewada for Mumbai along with the tiger on Tuesday. While travelling 838km in a cage inside a rescue van, the tiger was fed at regular intervals. Sultan was transported by a team led by the veterinary officer Dr Shailesh Pethe and superintendent of the lion safari park, SGNP, Vijay Barabde. “The tiger has been brought to SGNP to breed with the three tigresses — Bijlee, 9; Maatani, 9, and Laxmi, 10. The breeding program will be undertaken at a later stage,” SGNP said in a statement.