The 189sqkm Umred-Karhandla-Paoni Wildlife Sanctuary (UKPWS), which has been in the news for the mysterious disappearance of tigers, is headed for a revival with their numbers showing a hike.
The small sanctuary located 60 kms from here had a tourism boom between 2013-2016 when male tiger ‘Jai’ made the long walk from Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhandara-Gondia district to make UKPWS its home. However, with tigers disappearing, the sanctuary saw a slump in the last 2-3 years.
Jai was the first to vanish. It went missing in April 2016 and was followed by offspring Bittu and Shriniwas, and Jaichand last year. Then came the poisoning of a pair — Rai (T4) and Charger in Paoni in December 2018. Charger had become the dominant male having filled the vacuum left by male tigers.