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Madhya Pradesh tigress sets record of giving birth to 22 cubs,

Time of India, New Delhi, 22 April, 2015

BHOPAL: With four cubs in its sixth litter, Collarwali - the tigress fondly called to by visitors to Pench Tiger Reserve because of her radio collar - has apparently set a record of giving birth to highest number of cubs in wild in Madhya Pradesh.


"Yes I think it is a record... 22 cubs since 2008. Our team spotted her four new-borns in a cave two days ago. The frequency of it getting pregnant is also surprising. Cubs of its 5th litter are not even 2-year-old now," says Alok Kumar, field director of Pench tiger reserve.


"We are sure that it will get pregnant within next two years," he said.


Also referred to as 'Queen of Pench' and 'Pench princess' the Collarwali, herself was one of four cubs of famous tigress 'Barimada' who was featured in the famous documentary titled 'Spy in the Jungle'. And she was the first of Barimada's cubs to establish her territory in the core area of her mother's range, experts say.


Collarwali gave birth to 18 cubs between 2008 and 2013 of which 14 survived.


"She littered three beautiful cubs for the first time in May 2008. But as an inexperienced mother, she could not protect them from the harsh climate. All three cubs died of pneumonia within 24 days," said Alok Kumar. In October 2008, she produced her second litter - four cubs including three males. All survived. Experts claim she has used 13 different sites to rear her three litters and most of the times it was caves.


Pench is now a home for more than 60 adult tigers. A male tiger translocated from this reserve had led to successful reintroduction project of Tiger in Panna tiger reserve.