"Supermom" tigress: India mourns loss of fantastic feline

New Delhi, India – India’s most famous tigress, who earned the title of "Supermom" for giving birth to 29 cubs during her lifetime, died over the weekend.

India's famous tiger Collarwali died at the age of 16 after giving birth to 29 cubs (stock image).
India's famous tiger Collarwali died at the age of 16 after giving birth to 29 cubs (stock image).  © 123RF/veneratio

The tigress died due to old age at the Pench Tiger Reserve in central India on Saturday evening, park chief Ashok Kumar Mishra said on Monday, adding the big cat was more than 16 years old.

She was also known as Collarwali in Hindi, as she was the first feline to be radio-collared at the reserve in 2008.

"It is rare for a tigress to give birth to 29 cubs, including five in one go, and successfully raise 25, this perhaps earned her the title of Supermom among wildlife lovers," he said.

The beautiful and graceful cat was a darling of visitors to the reserve and often described as the most photographed tiger in the world, domestic media reported.

Visuals showed several locals attending the cremation of the tigress, which was done in accordance to Hindu rites. Some were seen with garlands, others with folded hands, to pay their respects to Collarwali.

Social media were abuzz with Indians posting tributes and bidding farewell to the beloved Collarwali.

"Tribute to the 'Super Tigress Mom'...The forests of Madhya Pradesh will always resonate with the roar of the cubs of the ‘Queen of Pench Tiger Reserve,'" state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Twitter.

Wildlife experts said Collarwali played a key role in maintaining the tiger population of the reserve that reportedly has over 130 tigers.

India is home to about 75% of the world's tiger population, and its conservation efforts have been fairly successful, with a 2018 census counting 2,967 big cats.

Cover photo: 123RF/veneratio

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