Cee4life notified me last night that the Indian authorities have decided to continue to care for Machli until she dies. I have to give a lot of credit to Sybelle, the director of Cee4life, for her resilience in this matter as she faced a lot of criticism and even got death threats for going against the petition to let Machli die. Sybelle cancelled her trip to India, however, everyone who donated to this cause was contacted and given a chance to have their donations refunded.
For those of you who don’t know, Cee4life is currently doing work at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia, providing healthcare and resources as well as an International Education program. You can read more about that or donate here.
There is currently a debate going on about whether or not the forestry department in Ranthambhore should stop providing food for Machli. Apparently, they were ordered to stop in March by the NTCA, and that Machli has been surviving on her own ever since. For those of you who don’t know, Machli is nearly 18 years old, and has lost all of her canine teeth. Despite her ability to still hunt small animals, lizards and birds, she has, for the past four years, occasionally been provided with carcasses.
I agree that they should never have started feeding her in the first place, but that is in the past and not the problem at hand. In saying that, I don’t blame them for what they did, Machli is not an animal I could’ve just left for dead either. It’s now being argued that she’s taking up space, and that it’s inhumane to put her through old age. Whilst she does still live in Ranthambhore, she no longer holds prime territory and has been confined to the very outskirts of the park by males and breeding females. Food is still able to sustain and nourish her, to the point where she can still hunt for herself. Obviously we can’t keep on feeding her forever, but cutting her off completely and leaving her to die does seem a bit drastic.
Machli will die one day, but it absolutely cannot be by our own doing. I’m very open about this subject, but I think exceptions are needed because of her history. Machli does not always feed on the food she is supplemented with, which still suggests stable independence on her part. I know the park is becoming increasingly productive with the populations beginning to rise, but Machli will never become redundant, especially to those who love and admire her.
Valkmik is being opposed by a non-profit organisation called Cee4life. They’re heading over to India in a week’s time, and you can donate via PayPal to their cause if you agree with them. I really do hope that all the pros and cons are weighed and that they can come to a decision that serves her best interests. Machli is a national icon, and is dubbed as one of the greatest tigers to ever walk the planet. Her resilience, unique power and beauty has generated over 500 million dollars to India’s tourism, and she’s provided the park with numerous lineages for the continuation of her species. Towards the end of their lives, B2 and Charger of Bandhavgarh National Park, were cared for in different ways by the forestry department, so Machli should also be given the same kind of chances to live out the rest of her life peacefully.
Three orphaned Amur tigers, two males and one female were successfully released to the wild in the Russian Far East last week, in further attempts to save the species and to reclaim tiger habitat. Underlining the importance of the event, Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin also attended the release. Two more tigers, a male and female, are scheduled for release in early June, making it the largest release of rehabilitated Amur tigers ever.
"The tigers were prepared to go back to the wild; they are in good physical shape, successfully stalking and hunting their natural prey and avoid human beings," explains Dr. Viatcheslav Rozhnov, Deputy-Director of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.
During the rehabilitation process, all contact with humans was eliminated. Monitoring the tigers was done through remotely-operated video cameras.
Daughter of legendary tigress Machali, and now ruler of the largest territory in Ranthambhore, T-19 aka Krishna was spotted on the 24th of March with her three new cubs, believed to be about six weeks old.
The cubs appear to be in good health, and their birth has increased the number of tigers in the park to 58.
Sansar Chand is believed to have been the biggest wildlife poacher in India, being responsible for more tiger and leopard deaths than anybody else. Diaries seized from Sansar Chand’s family by the Rajasthan Police in 2004 allegedly showed transactions of 40 tiger skins and 400 leopard skins in a period of just 11 months from October 2003 to September 2004. During interrogation by the CBI in 2006, Sansar Chand apparently admitted to selling 470 tiger skins and 2,130 leopard skins to just four clients from Nepal and Tibet.
He was facing several charges related to the killing of wild cats in Sariska Tiger Reserve, but was admitted to hospital last week, suffering from cancer. According to doctors, he had tumors in his brain, lungs and spinal cord.