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Ranthambore hunt on for Machli, missing 3 weeks (Jan.)


Asian Age, Delhi, Wednesday 5th February 2014

A massive search operation has been launched at the Ranthambhore national park to trace the world’s oldest and most famous tigress, Machli. It’s been over three weeks since Machli, officially known as T-16, was last spotted on January 11. Some wildlife experts fear Machli may never be seen again, like her daughter Sundari who went missing last year.

“A team of 200 people has been deployed to track Machli, and 24 photo-trap cameras have been installed at different locations in the park. We will check the photos after four days,” deputy forest officer Rahul Bhatnagar said.

Machli, the world’s most photographed tigress, may have been forced to leave her territory, Polki Nala in Kundera range of Ranthambhore, as she could not put up a strong challenge in fights with other tigers far younger than her. Interestingly, most of the 47 tigers at Ranthambhore are her children.

Forest officials say tigress T-19 and her three-year cub were constantly foraying into Machli’s territory, and so did T-28. “She is too old to protect her territory, forcing her to constantly shift her location.