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Bandhavgarh-May/June 2010 A tribute to the Jhurjura Tigress

I arrived at Bandhavgarh on 22 May with the main objective to photograph the Jhurjura tigress together with her three cubs (about 6 month old).  However, on arrival I was told that on the evening of the 18 May persons had illegally entered the park for a "night drive" and had mortally wounded the tigress by repeatedly hitting her with the vehicle in which they were travelling. At the time of writing this report, the tragic event is under investigation by the relevant authorities and it is a fact that three senior forest officers have been suspended from duty over their possible involvement in the crime.  Besides loosing a comparatively young tigress, there is now the matter of the cubs to consider.  I am advised that the park authority are providing food and some protection for the cubs.  I believe that it is intended to place them in a safe area within the boundary of the reserve until they are old enough to be released into the wild.  Although nothing can be done to bring back the tigress, I truly hope that the perpetrators of this wicked crime be brought to justice and pay the price for their selfish intrusion into the tiger reserve at night.  In June 2009 I spent considerable time at the Rajbehra meadow/dam, photographing the Jhurjhura tigress together with her previous litter of cubs all of whom flourished under her care.  I hope that one of the female cubs from that litter will now settle and take over her mother's home range.  As a tribute to the Jhurjura tigress, I am showing the photograph above that I took of her together with two of her cubs from the previous litter in June 2009.  This was the last time that I was to see this beautiful tigress and caring mother.  A number of photographs from my visit to Bandhavgarh can be seen by following this 'LINK' to the Picture Gallery section of 'tigersintheforest'.