On the 23rd December evening someone had seen pugmarks of T 17 and her three cubs in the Mandoop plateau. She has been spending most of her time in a place called Kachida valley and we were happy that she was near the lakes (Mandoop is very close to the lakes).
The next morning we went to Mandoop and found fresh pugmarks of T 17 and a male tigers. We heard a lot of crows calling close to the road in Mandoop and when we went there we found Star male (T 28) sitting just off the road. There was a Spotted deer carcass lying close by and the crows were waiting for the tiger to move, before they got their fill. Soon enough the male tiger got up and moved off. He was limping badly. (picture below).
We assumed, based on the evidence of pugmarks and the kill, that T 17 had made a kill and got her three cubs to the place. Some time in the night the Star male reached there and snatched the kill from T 17. They must have had a fight, as we could see that the male had an injury on his front right leg. We assumed that T 17 must be hurt too. That evening one jeep saw T 17 and one of her cub at a waterhole near Kachida and reported that she was limping badly. (Picture below).
The forest department was alerted and a team was formed to look for T 17 and her cubs. Kachida valley has many inaccessible areas and we know that finding an injured tiger there would be a task. last evening (28th December) T 17 was seen opposite the Kachida check post. She had a big injury on her front left leg and was limping very badly. Her cubs were not with her. We reported this to the forest department and they immediately dispatched the range puffier and the entire flying squad. Later on I heard that she was given a live bait, that she took eagerly. Since her injury is in a place where she can lick her wounds, it is not so bad. Though she would need some help in getting food for the next few days, till she is back on her feet. Star male has recovered from his injuries and is not limping anymore.
The struggle that a tiger mother has to go through to bring up her cubs is amazing. Hats of to another great wild mother.