India tiger on ‘longest walk ever’ for mate and prey
A tiger has undertaken the longest walk ever recorded in India, travelling some 1,300km (807 miles) in five months.
Experts believe the two-and-a-half-year-old male is possibly in search of prey, territory or a mate.
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The tiger, called C1, was one of three male cubs born to T1, a female tiger in Tipeshwar wildlife sanctuary, home to 10 tigers in Maharashtra state.
The animal left the sanctuary at the end of June, and since then has travelled through seven districts in Maharashtra and the neighbouring state, Telangana. At the weekend, he was located in another wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra.
Wildlife officials say the big cat has not travelled in a “linear manner”. He is being tracked through GPS satellite information every hour and has been recorded in more than 5,000 locations in the past nine months.
“The tiger is possibly looking for territory, food and a mate. Most of the potential tiger areas [in India] are full and new tigers have to explore more,” Dr Bilal Habib, a senior biologist with the Wildlife Institute of India, told the BBC.
The tiger hid during the day and travelled in the night time, killing wild pigs and cattle for food.
Dr Habib confirmed the one accidental injury to a man who entered the thicket where the tiger was resting, but said there had been no serious conflict with humans.
“People don’t even know that this tiger is travelling in the backyard,” he said.
Tiger numbers have increased in India, but their habitat has shrunk and prey is not always plentiful, say experts.
Every tiger requires a breeding prey population of 500 animals in its territory to ensure a “food bank”, say experts.
source : bbc