09:42 GMT21 January 2021
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    India is home to over 70 percent of the world's tiger population. In 2018, India’s first tiger relocation drew flak from an animal rights organisation, when big cats were moved from Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh state to the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha. One died within six months of relocation and the others were sent back.

    Uttarakhand, an Indian state in the Himalayas, is all set for its first relocation of tigers from Jim Corbett national park to Rajaji tiger reserve on Thursday.

    A total of five big cats, two males and three females, will be relocated.

    The idea was conceptualised almost eight years ago, when Rajaji Tiger Reserve did not report any breeding of tigers in about a decade. In 2016, the country’s tiger conservation authority gave its clearance for the project.

    “All five tigers aged between four to six years and physically fit for reproduction. Only one tiger will be relocated at one time,” reported Indian daily Indian Express citing Rahul, Field Director of Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, who does not use a surname.

    Currently, the Jim Corbett National Park has about 260 tigers whereas the Rajaji Tiger Reserve has 39 tigers, including two tigresses in its western part. Officials said that they do not expect any reproduction as both are aged above 18 years.

    Around 100 officials, including forest authorities, veterinary doctors, wildlife scientists and forest guards will execute the exercise.

    All five tigers will go through a medical checkup, and will be tranquilised and radio-collared before starting their five-hour journey. Once they reach the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, they will be observed for next few weeks before being released into the forest.  


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