ST-13, an eight-year-old tiger has remained missing several weeks after it went missing from the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Authorities have been trying to locate the big cat, last seen on January 15 at Rampura-Devra in the reserve’s Talvriksh range.
The radio collar fitted around ST-13’s neck around five years back had stopped functioning. A review meeting of the reintroduction of tigers is necessary, especially since collars on all five of the big cats in the reserve needed to be removed and changed, as none of them on five big cats were operational. The collar has a life of two to three years.
The tiger disappeared on the eve of news that three leopards were killed outside the reserve’s buffer area. The carcasses were recovered on January 16. The reserve, which lost all its tigers due to poaching in 2005, now has 25 tigers.
A forest official said that 35 teams and 20 personnel of Alwar, Dausa, and Jaipur North forest range have been involved in the search operation for ST-13. The official said the NTCA’s technical committee was scheduled to discuss the tiger relocation and change of collars.
Sariska Tiger Foundation founder secretary Dinesh Durrani said they wish the collar had been functioning. Tigers were relocated to Sariska from Ranthambore National Park between 2008 to 2013, after the Alwar reserve lost its big cats.