Not Just another Tiger

The death of Qualji’s reigning tigress Meera (T37) and companion of the area’s formidable male Fateh (T42) was an unexpected and saddening event. The official report of the autopsy is still awaited, nonetheless from statements issued by officials after the post-mortem we believe that the death was caused by multiple organ failure leading to a massive cardiac arrest. Cirrhosis of the liver, excessive fat deposits and a subsequent haemorrhaging of vital organs compounded the problem. No traces of toxins were found in the body.

Meera : Portrait of a tigress
Meera : Portrait of a tigress

Beyond the medical reports and the post-mortem analysis is the need to understand the gravity of losing a young tigress (she was nearly 6). The loss of a female tiger – albeit to natural causes – in the prime of her breeding life is a tragedy for the world of conservation, because there is relatively little one can do to avert a natural, invisible illness. There will always be rare occurrences like this one, in which the symptoms of fatality are not discernible. It is therefore crucial that the means and methods thought of and employed, to protect critically endangered species from visible and potentially obvious vulnerabilities are constantly revised and given the best possible support.

With Meera's departure a quiet has descended on Qualji
With Meera’s departure a quiet has descended on Qualji

For now Qualji’s ravines and crannies may have gone quieter as the spine shattering roars and haunting moans of Meera will no longer resound between those hills that were her home. However, we must remember and hope that even the silence will not remain forever. Nature’s timescale is so different to ours and before long there will be another tiger to take the place of the Meera who has gone. Not just another tiger but a unique member of this persecuted species. The Meera we knew was one of the biggest tigresses we have ever seen; reticent, aggressive, vitality unleashed and everything a tiger should be. We must ensure we keep Qualji and Ranthambhore safe and secure; a space sanctified so that another tiger can call it home, in another time…

Not Just Another Tiger
Not Just Another Tiger

Written by Yusuf Ansari
Photography by Dr. Amitabh Dwivedi

2 thoughts on “Not Just another Tiger

  1. DearYusuf,
    Your reportage is much appreciated and indeed it not only sad but leaves one thinking as to what more can one do to provide healthier living environment. Meera was such beauty and grace that one never got tired of clicking pictures of hers.
    This site is very important because it provides very informed, balanced and meaningful narrations as well as updates.
    Wish you the very in youe endeavours.

    1. Thank you for your message Sir.
      I know you spent some particularly special moments with Meera and she was indeed a beautiful and graceful girl, exactly fitting the image of what a wild tiger is imagined to be. Please do follow us for more updates and once more thank you for the message as well as the feedback. Will look forward to your contributions


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