Madhya Pradesh: Legendary ‘Collarwali’ Tigress passes away: All you need to know of the big cat who gave birth to record 29 cubs
Bhupender Yadav says, “Collarwali, the legendary tigress of Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve, who many lovingly called Super Mom, will be acutely missed. Her contribution to restoring the ecological balance by improving tiger population in India will always be remembered”
“She lived like a queen for 17 years in Pench and gave birth to 29 cubs. End of an era.”
“The Queen is no more. Died because of old age. Leaving behind her legacy and her 29 cubs. Her contribution is immense in restoring back the ecological balance by improving the tiger population.”
“Supermom of Pench TR, T15 aka ‘collarwali’ left the mowgliland forever. RIP TIGRESS.”
Twitter has been abuzz and tributes have been pouring in from all over after ‘Collarwali’, the famous tigress of Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve, passed away on Saturday evening. The 17-year-old tigress, also known as T15, died of old age, according to officials.
So, who is this tigress and why was she so popular?
Who is ‘Collarwali’ aka T15?
Collarwali was one of the four cubs born to famous tigress T-7 in September 2005.
As a female cub, the tigress was radio-collared in March 2008. While the radio collar stopped functioning later, she was again radio-collared in January 2010 and that’s how she earned her name ‘Collarwali’.
‘Collarwali’ passing away at 17, is a record of sorts, as experts note that the average age of a tiger is about 12 years.
Collarwali became famous and holds the distinguished record of giving birth to 29 cubs, earning the tag of ‘supermom’.
According to officials, she had given birth to 29 cubs in eight litters during 11 years — between 2008 and 2018. Of the 29 cubs, 25 have survived.
‘Collarwali’ had first given birth to three cubs in May 2008, but they could not survive. On 23 October 2010, she gave a litter of five cubs (four females and one male).
Dr Aniruddha Majumdar, a scientist with the State Forest Research Institute, who had tracked ‘Collarwali’ for seven years to study breeding, said: “There is hardly any record of a tigress giving birth to five cubs at one go. She raised all of them. Over the years, she gave birth to 29 cubs…25 survived.”
And in December 2018, she delivered the last of her four cubs, making officials believe that this could be a record.
But, it’s not just her ‘supermom’ tag that made her famous and popular among conservationists and tourists alike.
According to Sanjay Tiwari, a local social activist, Collarwali loved tourists and would walk out on to the kaccha road when she heard jeeps coming, as if she wanted to be seen. She was a tourist lover, he said.
Through her 29 cubs, Collarwali had greatly contributed to the tiger conservation efforts in India.
In fact, in 2008, when Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh became tiger-less, it was one of the female cubs of Collarwali that was sent to Panna for reviving the big cat’s population there.
Cause of death
The 17-year-old tigress was last seen on 14 January and, according to the office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), she was looking very weak due to old age