Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar expressed grief over the death of ‘Collarwali’, a renowned tigress of Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR), who had earned the tag of ”supermom” for giving birth to 29 cubs. The 17-year-old tigress, also known as T15, died on Saturday evening due to old age.
“Wildlife lovers and enthusiasts will understand how heartbreaking it is, when a majestic tigress goes into silence forever. Rest in peace, #Collarwali,” Tendulkar said in a tweet on Monday evening while sharing pictures of the big cat’s last rites.
Earlier, Pench Tiger Reserve Director Ashok Mishra had informed that the tigress died of old age at around 6.15 pm on Saturday at Karmajhiri range. A team of foresters had been keeping a watch on the big cat’s health for the past one week, he said.
The carcass was disposed of as per National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines and its viscera was sent for examination, he said.
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Officials said floral tributes were paid to the tigress by the reserve’s management, guides, tourist vehicle drivers and local residents, and candles were lit at Turia Gate on Sunday evening.
Eco Vikas Samiti, Karmajhiri president Shantabai Saryam consigned the tigress to flame during the last rites. Among those who expressed grief was MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who tweeted.
”Tribute to the ‘Super Tigress Mom’ Collarwali of @PenchMP, the pride of Madhya Pradesh and mother to 29 cubs, who played an important role in achieving the Tiger State status for MP. The forests of Madhya Pradesh will always resonate with the roar of the cubs of ‘Queen’ of Pench Tiger Reserve.”
Collarwali had given birth to 29 cubs in eight litters between 2008 and 2018 and was last seen on January 14. She was radio collared in March, 2008 and once again in January 2010 after the first equipment stopped functioning, officials had said.