The Tale of Collarwali-The ‘Empress of Pench National Park’


The Land of Mowgli has embraced a new Queen of the Jungle. They call her ‘Collarwali Tigress (Baghin).’

The Pench National Park with its famous history has become one of the top favorite tourism parks amongst the wildlife aficionados and nature photographers. Easy accessibility, accommodation in pench resorts and quick convenient Pench National Park Safari Booking makes it an easy ride for tourists and a best choice over other parks.

The forest of Pench Tiger Reserve has seen many well-known tigers who have contributed to its massive popularity in the current times. But, it is the Majestic Collarwali (T-15) born in the year 2005 who clutches the top spot. She is daughter in spades of famous Tigress Badi Mada and Tiger Charger, (an aggressive & dominant male tiger) and a sister of 3 other tigers (2 male and 1 female).

With four cubs in its 7th litter, ‘Collarwali’ – the tigress lovingly called by visitors to Pench National Park owing to her radio collar – upheld a record of producing highest number of cubs in Madhya Pradesh until now.

Badi Mada (Big Mother) was known as a strong tigress, who delivered 19 cubs in her 12 years of maternity. It is her heredity which her daughter is taking ahead along with the potent genes that Pench Tiger Reserve is now a shelter to several strong tigers and healthy cubs.

Collarwali and her siblings was raised under the continuous scrutiny of the Trunk Camera that were tied to forest elephants for the illustrious Documentary  ‘Spy in the Jungle’ series under the name of ‘Big Brother’ TV program which further turned out to be a major hit back in 2008. These cameras seized them in their real stripes (well, pun intended) playing, holding, cuddling, fighting, chasing, hunting, maturing together and later on separating to discover their own routes for territory.

Later as the quantity of visitors started growing, Tigress T-15 was time and again spotted by the tourists and became an admiration for wildlife enthusiasts. She was often spotted chasing weak animals for her favorite mealtime and went on to the eye candy of the Pench National Park.

T-15 is the official name by the forest department and Collarwali is the name given by native people. She is not only the most famous tigress of the forest, but as well of all the adjoining forests of the State of Madhya Pradesh and of India. She gained immediate fame when she gave birth to a litter of five cubs in the year 2011. Since 2008, she had given birth to 22 cubs in six litters breaking the highest record of all tigresses in India. 

Today wiith 7 litters and 26 cubs, Collarwali Baghin guarantees her children best diet, protects them from male tigers, and fights accusation of being ‘negligent’. Officials at Pench national park believes Collarwali is the only tigress in the world to deliver 26 cubs in the wild. 

As a matter of fact, it is Collarwali and her lineage of 26 tigers that has played the key role in the excellent sighting of tigers in Pench Tiger Reserve and resultant growth in footfall. Since Collarwali herself is a very strong and ferocious tigress, majority of her cubs have survived and are growing up healthy & strong as well. Collarwali has taken great care of all her little cubs, shielding and protecting them.

Tiger experts say 7 litters in 12 years are rare as a tigress usually has her first litter at the age of 3 and then waits for next 2 years before getting pregnant again. Moreover, the number of cubs per litter is entirely a natural phenomenon, and tigresses can have as less as 12 cubs from six litters. While in Collarwali Baghin’s instance, thus, it’s not just the quantity of litters but also the quantity of cubs that make her exceptional.

According to Wildlife Enthusiast Sagnik Sengupta, Collarwali’s extraordinary success at reproduction shoots from her inclination to let her cubs fend for themselves much prior to other tigresses do. “She has a surprising habit of keeping herself distant from her sub-adult offsprings occasionally to let them absorb survival techniques on their own. This also provides her time to reproduce more regularly,” he said.

The royal tigress has made Sita Ghaati area of the Pench National park, located close to the river, her home (territory).