How a tiger's record-breaking journey ended in tragedy
The big cat's epic trek gives hope that one day another tiger will complete a journey to the Gir Forest, home to lions and leopards.
A young male tiger set off on an exploratory walkabout in northwestern India about two years ago. Approaching adulthood, he needed to find his own turf—increasingly difficult in his natal Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, where some 34 other Bengal tigers live.
The wildlife officers in charge of the 318-square-mile reserve knew the big cat was on the move and tracked his prints and the claw marks he left on trees until he left Ratapani, in December 2017.
They don’t know what clues to new lands he followed as he traversed the landscape beyond the sanctuary’s forests, but ultimately his epic 186-mile journey (one of the longest recorded tiger treks) brought him to the