Kanha national park is located in Madhya Pradesh state of Central India. It is one of the most popular tiger reserve of India and included in almost all the popular tiger tours & safari holidays of India. Just like other popular tiger reserves of India, here also some of the tigers are popular among wildlifers and photographers. Among the prominent names, Munna tiger of Kanha national park is most popular in tourism society. Those who have visited Kanha national park in last 10 years, they must have heard about this magnificent big cat. He was born in year 2002 in Kanha national park and after attaining his adulthood, he became dominant male of Kanha national park. In his peak time, Munna tiger had territorial conflicts with around 6-7 male tigers and successfully defeated them. His forehead stripe pattern is such that we can see it as if “CAT” or “PM” is written their by nature. This was its unique identification mark for us. His territory was extended in both Kanha & Kisli zones thus covered a large area of park.
Pic by HotSpot Media
Munna tiger is among most photographed tigers of Kanha national park. He always behaved very normally in presence of safari jeeps and tourists and often gives good scope for best tiger photographs shots. This made him favorite of photographers. Being a dominant tiger of Kanha & Kisli zones, he controlled his territory for many years. Although other tigers posed challenge to him but he manages to overcome those challenges. His consistency in maintaining territory made safari guides assured of his presence in his territory and thus tourists were also remain confident to find Munna in Kanha or Kisli zone safaris. When he became old and lost his territory, he made Khatia buffer zone as his new home and was often noticed by villagers while crossing village roads, resting beside road but despite of his presence near human establishment, no single incident report of his conflict with human beings. This shows that Munna tiger maintained an invisible bonding with human society.
After attaining old age, Munna also have to leave his attained territory, covering Kanha & Kisli safari zone. In his adulthood, he successfully maintained his territory. He was living in Khatia zone in last few years and was often noticed by visitors in Khatia zone area where he was spending last days of his life. Since 20/Jan/2019, he was not seen by patrolling party. They tried to search him in nearby areas but he was not seen or traced. As per local safari guides, he had limping problem in last days thus his movements were reduced and he spends majority of time in resting. It seems Munna went on a journey from which he will never return.
In record of Forest Department Munna tiger is known by the name “T-17”. After 2 years of age, tigers often leave their mother and tries to survive by own. It is a natural process. Staying with mother could be more dangerous for them as male tiger often kills cubs for courtship with female tigress. Thus, on attaining adulthood, Munna too came into light in year 2006, after attaining adulthood and tried to established his own territory. In his peak time, Munna tiger have sired litters with around 4-5 different tigresses. His offsprings includes Chota Munna (T-29), Neelam (T-65), Umarpani Male (T-30) etc. Now a days Chota Munna and Neelam Tigress are star attractions of Kanha national park. Now a days, Neelam tigress is providing her contribution to tiger population of Kanha national park.