India tiger awaits mate after ‘longest’ 3,0000km journey
Publishedduration29 minutes agoimage captionThe tiger – called Walker – travelled some 3,000km over nine months, mostly in western India
He has completed the longest walk by a tiger ever recorded in India and "settled" in a sanctuary, where he is the only big cat.
Fondly called Walker by wildlife officials, the now three-and-a-half-year-old male left its home in a wildlife sanctuary in the western state of Maharashtra in June last year. He was possibly in search of prey, territory or a mate.
Fitted with a radio collar, he travelled some 3,000km (1,864 miles) through seven districts in Maharashtra and the neighbouring state of Telangana over nine months before "settling down" in another sanctuary in Maharashtra in March. The collar was removed in April.
The 205-sqkm Dnyanganga sanctuary is home to leopards, blue bull, wild boar, peafowl and spotted deer. Walker is the only tiger living there, say wildlife officials.
"He has no territorial issues. And he has adequate prey," Nitin Kakodkar, the senior-most forest official of Maharashtra state told the BBC.
Now wildlife officials are mulling whether they should move a female tiger to the sanctuary to give Walker a mating partner, a move which will be "quite unprecedented".
Tigers are not solitary creatures, they say, and have a natural instinct to mate. However, moving a second tiger to the sanctuary, is not going to be a easy decision.