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Tiger cubs go missing in Panna, MP

Sep 13, 2010 11:16 PM IST India India

Bhopal: With the tiger population dwindling every day, there’s more reason for concern for the ministry of environment and forest as two cubs have gone missing from the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recently. After Sariska, Panna was the second national park to lose all its tigers to poaching. And to replenish the population, the Madhya Pradesh government had reintroduced two tigers to the Panna Reserve, which had given birth to four cubs. In the last 15 days, 2 cubs at Panna National Park have not been sighted causing panic amongst officials of the forest department. “Three cubs were missing but we saw one in the morning... so we are still looking for the other two... keeping our fingers crossed for they may be all right or may not be,” said H.S. Pabla, Chief Wildlife Warden. The cubs were born to a tigress that was released in Panna from Bandavgarh and represented the first sign of hope that Panna would have tigers again. While the forest department is hopeful that the cubs will be found soon, there are fears that a tiger may have killed them. “There were reports of fight between a tiger and a tigress. The tigress sustained some injuries which are now healed, but we don’t know if the cubs were harmed in that or not,” said Pabla. Panna National Park once home to over 40 tigers had lost all its big cats to poaching. And the birth of these three cubs was seen as a success of the experiment to repopulate the reserve. But with the two cubs missing, there’s now a fresh wave of panic.

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