Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Ranthambore National Park is known for its extremely rich and gifted lineage of tigers and tigresses across the globe. It has proudly been home to some of the most fierce and magnificent ones. The stories of their life and grandeur are well preserved a glimpse of which can be read right below.
The ‘Queen Tigress of Ranthambore’, the ferocious Machli was proudly the most photographed tigress of the world which brought a lot of fame to her and the country as well. Bringing the Indian Government nearly a hundred million US Dollars, the mighty tigress was the star of the jungle and the country when it comes to animals. Her name was kept ‘Machli’ which literally means a ‘Fish’ in English because of a rare mark towards her ear which forms into a fish-like pattern. It was a distinct feature that marked the ferocious one who clearly had features more than the physical ones.
MACHLI was one of the most human-friendly tigers of not just Ranthambore but the entire world which becomes quite obvious by her popularity across the globe. She has been a significant part of innumerable wildlife researches, some ground-breaking films and photographs taken by enthusiasts across the globe which justifies her international fame.
One of the most popular incidents of her life till date is her (famously called as the ‘Crocodile Killer) deadly fight with the 14 feet long crocodile, the photographs and experiences of which as captured by the eye-witnesses are some of the most celebrated pieces of the history of tigers around the world.
She enjoyed a brave history of dominance right after she took control a few years after her birth. She has not only been the ‘Lady of the Lake’ during her entire life with perfect control over the huge area of 350 square miles with the animals under her control but she even closely dominated the Tigers. Mating on her own terms ever since with the most ferocious male ones she has had a history of childbearing with several male tigers of Ranthambore. Her female cubs were even sent to different parks in order to reproduce and spread her gifted genes as she did in Ranthambore.
With her prestigious lifetime achievement award, a postal cover and postal stamp, she has also been the world’s oldest surviving tigress in the wild up till the age of 20 even after losing its teeth.
The mighty offspring of Jhumroo (T-20) and Gayatri (T-22), Ustad was a ruler enjoying monopoly amidst the wild lands of Ranthambore national park for a long tenure of Nine long years. Dragging his prey all the way to the highway and savouring it in complete public view without shying away from humans, to everyone’s surprise, were some major specifications of Ustad.
Pertaining to the ever- increasing human invasion in the forest premises because of growing tourism and especially the night tours, Ustad got quite wild and therefore very dangerous for people over time. His long stays in Forest department cages for some of the other treatment got him very dominant. The evidence goes back to 2010 and 2012 when two innocent villagers became prey to Ustad’s recently developed and much controversial ‘Man-eating’ tendencies. It finally became public causing enough threat and sensation in 2015 with the death of the brave forest guard, Late Shri Rampal Saini.
Ustad was finally shifted to Sajjangarh Biological Park located 400 km away in Udaipur during the May of the year 2015. His transfer grabbed a lot of attention in both National and International audiences with several petitions and marches held for the cause. Several wildlife lovers and experts claimed that he could have killed thousands of people he came across on the day to day tours if he wanted to but he did not, so the killing of people were unfortunate incidents and responses to hindrances to his freedom and space.
As a matter of fact, Ustad till date resides in his new home, unfortunately away from its cubs and mate Noor (T-39). Hopefully, his man-eating tendencies calm down over time and Ustad can be back with his family soon.
Mala is indeed a celebrity Tigress of Ranthambore ever since she came into power. Also known as ‘Noor’ (meaning ‘Glow’) because of her unmatched beauty enhanced by the distinct patterns and stripes on her body. Her left year is broken which is one of the significant pointers which help the general public to recognize her. Apart from these distinct physical features, the magnificent tigress has a prominent mark of an inverted beautiful Trishul made by elegant stripes on her right eye. She even has two ‘Y’s’ striped on her body, specifically on her hind legs. All these highlights make her one of the most beautiful tigresses Ranthambore was ever home to.
She is a successor of the renowned matriarch, Machali’s sister and has been loved by tourists alike right from her childhood by the virtue of being an extrovert. The exotic beads like structures making a wavy necklace on her magnificent body earned her a name of ‘Mala’ which means necklace in the Hindi language.
She gave birth to two beautiful cubs with another majestic tiger T-12 which later left her. After leaving her mother T-13 when she was just two, she bred two cubs with T-12. Once he left, she took over the kingdom and resumed her rule and dominance. During recent times, she was seen feeding her new cubs in the middle of the Ranthambore road by the tourists. Being quite human-friendly she did not seem to get uncomfortable at all and continued to sit majestically right at her spot looking confidently in the eye.
She is till date enjoying her dominance and rule over the majority of Zone One, Two and Four roaming around chivalrously.
One of the proud successors of the Ranthambore Queen Machali, Sundari is the other name of ‘Satara’ (meaning digit ‘Seventeen’ in the Hindi language) is one of the three cubs of Machli born during the monsoon of 2006. The most dominant of the three, Sundari named after her skills and physical beauty majestically marked her territory under the famous Ranthambore fort much sooner and much skilfully than the rest.
Something that makes her way more than her lineage and genes is that in her aggression and hunger for power and dominance over as larger an area as possible. She even fought with the Queen, her mother, Machali herself and to everyone’s surprise, ended up beating her and made her look for a new settlement in Lakkarda. She ended up taking almost every other area except this and some others, she did not even spare her own sisters’ land. She likes to boast of her power and welcomes humans, luckily with much comfort.
Though the gifted Tigress has been seen mating, yet she did not bear a litter for a lot of time until the year 2012 the father of which is assumed to be Dollar without any confirmations. Incests were common among cats.
She even shared her territory with the male tigers she trusted like the powerful ones namely Sitara and Sultanpur along with others. She even expanded a lot of her area and came as far as Kachida Valley. Her journey has indeed been a fierce and interesting one.
The pattern on the right side of his flank resembles that of a dollar which is a distinct marker of Dollar’s physical appearance. A direct offspring of the Ranthambore Queen Machli, the ferocious one has it in his strong genes.
He has been one of the most aggressive tigers of Ranthambore like the usual male tigers. dominance has obviously been in his blood and so he lived up to it quite well on time. Unlike his mother, he has been quite anti-human most of his life. Pertaining to his aggressive nature he could be seen wildly running after jeeps and vans carrying tourists around with quite an evident motive to attack. Because of his extremely wild and angry sort of nature, he was also famously called ‘Zaalim’ meaning ‘Cruel’ in the Hindi language.
However, an interesting turn in Dollar’s story came when he self-assumed himself to be responsible for the care and upbringing of two female orphan cubs which were found on the eastern side of the park after their mother, unfortunately, died of some internal illness. A drastic change was observed in Zalim who overnight turned into not-so-Zalim Dollar. He got way calmer and protective of the two adopted cubs named Bina 1 and Bina 2. His motherly side, definitely taken from Machli could be seen blooming by the ones who knew him closely. He could be seen teaching them his ways of ruling and they obediently followed him like his shadow. He got peaceful and sensitive after their entry in his life.
At present, as the two beautiful cubs have grown into skilled tigresses, Bina 1 continues to be his shadow while Bina 2 has almost parted ways with her stepfather growing old with every passing day.