Saturday, January 29, 2011

Return of the striped King...Yuwaraj Tiger

Story of Yuwaraj tiger – who was declared poached and the poachers were caught by the Forest Department some still absconding but Yuwaraj tiger still alive and is in his home – Ranthambhore!

Many news published, blogs written, people moaned the death of a beautiful sub adult tiger, little did they know he was in the national park all the while hunting on wild boars & sambars and drinking the water from the streams of Ranthambhore!

Stories of Yuwaraj's death - Leaving many questions - published in news papers

Jogi ji only could give the details of this incident – so let us ask him. “Jogi ji, what’s the story of Yuwaraj tiger?”

Jogi ji said, “Yuwaraj was the young male, first litter of T15 – Guda tigress who walked out of Ranthambhore and reached Lakheri area – he was said to have reached Bundi and the people of Bundi district (adjoining to Ranthambhore) even celebrated and welcomed his presence. However, he was supposedly poached in November 2007.

A wonderful picture of Yuwaraj tiger taken by Shri Aditya Singh

The file photo of Yuwaraj (Courtesy Forest Department)

Bachu Mogya and his brothers were made the culprits in these, Bacchu died during the chase by the forest department, while his brothers - Moolya Mogya, Sakrama Mogya are still wanted and are scared and absconding on that case – Yuwaraj’s brother – T12, was shifted recently to Sariska and was in news”

Jogi said “Match some old image of Yuwaraj with T21 and you will see what I am saying... The two are the same tigers.

Jogi ji but I do not have Yuwaraj’s photo – Jogi said, “Check for his photo in Aditya’s blog and match it with T21”

You can also ask for his photo from Sachin Rai and many others who had been here during this time...

Hence, if they said that Yuwaraj was missing and they had caught the poacher who killed him how it is that T21 matches the stripes with Yuwaraj?

We know that no two tiger’s stripes are the same it is just the way our finger prints are unique, hence Yuwaraj was here all the while and we booked some poachers for his death?”

Then there are several questions to be raised,

1. On what evidences did the forest department declare Yuwaraj to be poached?

2. On what physical evidences (seized skin / bones / claws etc) were these, Mogya’s booked for the tiger’s death?

3. If Yuwaraj is alive then was some other tiger killed at that time? Do we know which one?

“This is ridiculous! So did any tiger die?”

Jogi said, “This is where we are having lapses in our monitoring...”

I was even told that this male T25 was never captured before and had dollar like marking hence called the dollar male but some people have been talking of it coming from MP. If he has come from Madhya Pradesh then we should look for the corridor he has used and develop it, it is great news. However, if not then we should scan through our way of monitoring and reassess the tiger status.

Dollar male with $ like marking on the belly side - Now called T25 (Picture: Shri Balendu Singh)

Dollar male (Picture: Shri Balendu Singh)

File records showing T25 to be a female tigress

Jogi said, “There is more to it –

1. Who is T25 according to the FD? T25 is a female in the FD records. However, I was told the Dollar male seen these days in between Tamba khan and Bhoot Khura is been called T25.

2. If T25 is a female then who is this new male?

3. If T25 is a female then where has she disappeared?

4. Does FD has a family tree of the tigers?

5. Are the officers and guards not in same levels when it comes to tigers in the National Park, confused with tiger genders and territories?

Jogi concluded, “If we want to save our tigers we have to first understand them and strengthen out our monitoring system or else we will lose them without even knowing which tiger it was!”

Jogi ji left before asking few more questions –

  1. They do not know which tiger went to Gangapur city and has he returned or not from there yet?
  2. They had no clue about T14 (Old Sultanpur female) whom they considered dead for a year before she reappeared
  3. T47 (Mohan tiger) is funnily said to have returned and sometimes they say he is still in Murena area.
  4. When T7 reached Mathura they kept believing he was T47 and until then they kept assuming that T7 was inside the park !
  5. They have no idea about T43’s location.
  6. When the female T25 disappeared they started calling a male T25 (Dollar male)
  7. T37 was believed to be in Kota for months and later it was found out that T37 was there itself – the tiger there was moving was T35. Until then they didn’t even know she had reached Kota so we were neither monitoring T35 nor T37

It is possible that in the national parks all across the country it may be difficult to monitor individual tigers but in a dry deciduous forest like Ranthambhore it is surely possible and we should be doing it...


  1. Excellent one Dhivya. Very informative and this shows your love for this place and the striped cat!


  2. Hi Divya! Now we know why it was so hard to get an identification on the Dollar Male when we saw him in early January!