Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Panna Tiger Reserve, a national park located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh was left with no tigers around 2009. It was then that T1 was brought from Bandhavgarh National Park as a part of an ambitious tiger reintroduction programme. 

Panna reserve spread across 542.7 km had around 20 tigers in 2006. But by 2009, there were no tigers left in the national park. This forced the authorities to reintroduce big cats from elsewhere. 

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T1 was shifted from Bandhavgarh along with another tigress (T2) from Kanha National Park and a male tiger (T3) from Pench Tiger reserve in March 2009.

The move turned out to be remarkable. T1 gave birth to four cubs in April 2010, which were the first cubs to be born in Panna. T-2 also gave birth to four more cubs in October 2010.

In 14 years, the tigress had given birth to 13 cubs in five litters and made a very remarkable contribution to the success of Panna's Tiger Reintroduction Project.

T-1 added a glorious chapter to the most successful tiger recovery programme and turned the national reserve into an abode of tigers. From zero to 60, T1 left behind a legacy that has invigorated the entire landscape. 

IFS Parveen Kaswan shared the information after T1 was found dead last week. T1 lived her life well and she died a natural death owing to old age. 

His Tweet read: “When Panna Tiger Reserve lost all its tigers. T1 was first female to be introduced in 2009 for recovery programme. She delivered 13 cubs and now Panna Tiger Reserve is abode of tigers once again. T1 took her last breath this week leaving a big family.”

Along with sharing a photo of T1 with her cubs while breastfeeding, in a thread of Tweet, he further added, “Above was the picture taken in 2010 by monitoring team in a gorge which documented first birth of tigers after the recovery programme was started in Panna.”

India Times quoted PTR's field director Brijendra Jha as saying, "A patrolling team spotted the carcass of a big cat on Tuesday evening in the Madla range. An inactive radio collar, which was worn by T-1 in 2017, was found near the carcass," 

“A team of forest officials reached the spot and inspected the area,” he added.

After the post mortem, the carcass was disposed of as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA) guidelines. The viscera were sent to laboratories at Sagar and Jabalpur for examination, the forest officer said.

Panna is one of the most successful tiger recovery programmes across the globe. As per 2022 estimates, Panna Tiger Reserve is home to around 57-60 tigers.