Mumbai: SGNP tigresses Bijlee and Mastani to get 'busy' soon

Updated: Dec 19, 2016, 15:22 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

More tigers are set to roar into SGNP by the end of next year, as Mastani or Bijlee – the two tigresses brought from Pench National Park in July – will soon be released in another enclosure to mate with one of the male tigers

Bijlee and Mastani were brought to SGNP in July
Bijlee and Mastani were brought to SGNP in July

More tigers are set to roar into Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) by the end of next year, as Mastani or Bijlee – the two tigresses brought from Pench National Park in July – will soon be released in another enclosure to mate with one of the male tigers. The tigresses were kept in isolation ever since they came to SGNP.

If all goes to plan...
“We are very happy with the fact that things are moving as per plan and the tigresses are also adjusting themselves in the way we expected them to. If everything goes well, then by next month we will release one of them in a bigger enclosure along with a male tiger from our captivity for mating,” SGNP’s superintendent of tiger and lion safari Shailesh Deore.

Also Read: Bijlee and Mastani set to roar into SGNP's safari

The authorities mainly got Bijlee and Mastani to SGNP because they wanted to increase the population of captive tigers in the park. The two tigresses were initially named as TF1 and TF2. TF1 was later named Bijlee for her aggressive nature, while TF2 was named Mastani as she is fairly docile.

Moved to bigger enclosures
“The tigresses were initially kept in isolation but now we have shifted them to bigger enclosures next to the other tigers and it appears that they have adjusted to the change, which is a really positive step forward,” said SGNP’s veterinary officer Dr Shailesh Pethe. Bijlee and Mastani were kept in quarantine, away from the other tigers, so that they can relax and get accustomed to their new home. Bijlee’s aggressive behaviour worried authorities earlier but she is relatively calmer now.

The real test
The biggest and toughest challenge for the authorities was to make Bijlee and Mastani comfortable in the presence of humans, as they weren’t used to living around people in their earlier home. They were rescued from the wild and kept in huge enclosures where hardly any humans were allowed.

While things are going smooth presently, the real test for authorities will be when the tiger and tigress are released together for mating, as the way in which they react with each other would decide on the future of their probable offspring.

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