All tigers have a royal air about them, but some rule amongst them too. Like Krishna, numbered T19 by park authorities, in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan in India.
To be honest, I did know this until my recent visit to the park. I was hoping to shoot tigers, and the ‘queen’ more than obliged.
Krishna is the most sought after tigress in the park; no one gets shot (on camera) more than her family. She has a lineage to show for it. Her mother, Machli, had been the most popular tigress of the reserve in her best years. Krishna was crowned ‘queen’ of this forest but not before surviving ‘political’ intrigue and drama.
Krishna had two siblings, T17 and T18. Not one to get along easily, T17 first drove her mother out of her territory, then sisters T18 and T19. Unfortunately, her ‘reign’ did not last long and she died after giving birth to only one litter at the age of around six. Conspiracy theorists say she was poisoned by villagers for poaching on their livestock. Could be true; T17 had a tracking collar around her neck and some experts say she may have lost her hunting edge because of this irritant.
T18 was transferred to Sariska National Park in Rajasthan in a bid to repopulate the reserve with tigers, leaving T19 the undisputed ‘Queen of Ranthambhore.’