Sita Tigress

Location: Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Sita Tigress


Matriarch of Bandhavgarh

Sita tigress was most  photographed tigress in the world. She is considered to be the Matriarch of Bandhavgarh as she had made huge contribution in tiger family of Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. Sita was believed to be born in year 1983. She had a life span of 17 years which is  considered as longer the average age of tigers. In his lifespan she manage to  raise 6 litters which is much more than normal tigress. Usually we will find that tigress raises 3-4 litters in their life span. Sita had two litters from Banka,  the dominant male before Charger. Her third litter was from her mating with  Charger in which she delivered two male cubs. In between them, one by larger in  size and known by the name of Bara Bachha and second one had slight limp in his  hind leg and known by the name of Langru. Bara Bachha made his territory around  Ghora Demon and Langru chose to stay with Charger & Sita. Here noticeable  thing is that, Charger accepted his 4 year old lame son, denying the logic that  dominant males drive away their own grownup male cubs. In March month of 1994,  Sita delivered her ill-fated fourth litter in which one cub was blind since  birth and died after some time. Sita was so much distressed and disturbed by  his death that for few days she wandered everywhere in search of her cub by  calling her. During that period park authorities closed her area for tourists.  Her another female cub later known by the name of Mohini as she was very good  looking. Charger had habit of snatching the kills made by Sita but she never  mind and always pleased to see Charger. In September 1996, Sita produced her  fifth litter comprising one male and two females. In order to feed them  properly, Sita often started trespassing in to other’s territory. She made  kills in other’s domain and drag them into her territory.

In the year 1996, Sita was 15  years old which is considered as old-age of tigers, bud she seems absolutely  fit. Upto this age, she has produced 6 litters and seems fit to deliver 7th  litter also. Parks closed down in month of July for next 3 months. When month  of October arrived in year 1996 and parks was ready for next safari season,  tiger tracking geared up. During tracking  nobody could trace Sita and a  peculiar silence or depression was spread in atmosphere. No trace of beloved  tigress Sita ignited huge controversies in media and pressure was mounted in Forest department to investigate the missing of Sita.  Strange rumous began to spread about her dis-appearance like she was  shot three  times in Barua Nala   and died behind the rest house in terrible agony. Some  blamed it a handiwork of poachers spread in local villages. Local people and  Forest Department was shocked with the disappearance of Sita.

After few months, police caught  some poachers and recovered a tiger skin and bones from them. The enthusiastic  officer and other policemen claimed that it was skin of Sita and called up many  experts from Tala to verify the fact. They hung the skin in the verandah of Manpur  Police Station for viewing and thousands of people from surrounding villages  turned up to see it. Believing it to be  Sita’s skin, they abused poachers and  poured praises on policemen. But still suspicion remains prevailing as by  having a look on a shrank and decayed skin and a pile of broken bones, it was  impossible to trace the identity of died tiger. General perception of Sita’s  death was that she has been poached. It is often said by guides and experts  that it is very hard to trace the body of any cat family member died due to  natural death.

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