Dollar (Zalim)

Dollar, as he is also known because of the shape on his right flank stripe pattern, is amazing the experts. Part of a successful litter of three males, he has stunned the tiger world by “mothering” two four month old cubs orphaned when their mother died in the summer of 2011.

Dollar has succeeded (with a little help from the Forest Department) in protecting and feeding the cubs from the ever present dangers in their forest home, behaviour never before seen in the wild.

Follow this caring father here as he brings up his kids on his own.


Age: 13 years old (adult)
Code: T25
First seen: January 2006
Gender: Male
Notable marks: Dollar sign on his right flank (illustrated)

Dollar (or Zalim as he is also called) was one of three male cubs born to the Lahpur – Nagdi tigress T22, and father Jhumaroo, and as such, is a direct descendent of the park’s matriarch, Machali. Dollar was originally thought to be a female, as only one pictures existed of him until he was a sub-adult. His two brothers Indala and Sultanpur grew up in a rich hunting grounds of Nagdi – Lahpur, where their father has resided for many years before moving out to their present territories.

After Dollar separated from his mother he was not seen for several months. During the summer of 2009, a new young male took residence in the Tamba Khan-Bhootkhurra area of the park. It took a few months to figure out that this new male was Dollar himself. Dollar's brothers are no strangers to controversy and attention. Sultanpur has been accused of attacking a villager collecting wood near the Ranthambhore road. He has since moved to a key area of the park below the fort. Dollar's other brother Indala has moved into his father’s old territory, recently vacated by villagers.

Settling into his new territory, Dollar mated with Kachidha T5 in the late winter of 2011 , seeing the birth of his first cubs by the end of the monsoon. Tragically, not more than four months later in February 2011, Kachidha was found dead near a chowki (Guardpost) after howling all night, from the pain of internal haemorrhaging she had suffered. The Forest department faced an inevitable dilemma – to let her cubs live, or die without their mother's care.

Strategically placed bait helped smooth the transition to motherhood for Dollar and his cubs, proving experts wrong who believed they would inevitably die or be killed by leopard or hyena, and that males would never take over motherhood.

A camera trap in May 2011 first proved Dollar was really looking after his cubs, and since then Dollar's extraordinary 'mothering' has prevailed and has since been documented leading his young cubs through his territory, teaching them the necessary skills for survival and occasionally admonishing them like any good mother. This extraordinary family, who always show affection for each other, regularly move through the tourism zones, delighting visitors.

His daughters are getting bigger and stronger with every passing day and the protective dad has been trying to expand his cub's territory, having been spotted clashing with formidable tigress Satra in the process.

Follow this extraordinary father as he guides his motherless cubs to adulthood. Will he manage this delicate task?

These life stories were brought to you after years of careful observation, notes and photography. Aditya Singh is a principal contributor together with many of Ranthambhore’s nature guiding community, and the success of Tigerwatch’s ongoing intelligence. Read all their blogs here

03 Jun 2013 Tiger diary almost 6 years ago

Dangerous but necessary liaisons by Hemraj Meena

Six weeks ago Unnis was flirting and courting madly with both Dollar (T25) and Sitara (T28). She failed to fall pregnant that time. As her oestrus cycle comes around again an...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Awesome video...

Anshul02 | almost 6 years ago

14 Apr 2013 Tiger diary about 6 years ago

Unnis plays the field by Yadvendra Singh

Distributing her favours, Unnis is playing a clever, yet often, dangerous game. Like her sister before her she faces the same conundrum. Two proud males dominate the terr...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Thanks for answering my question. I think Unnis will deal with & cope with the situation bettter than her sister did. I'm just not sure how she'll cope when her sister returns.

tigerfan | about 6 years ago

Yes correct. It is safe and such matings common. Recent reseach suggested the gene pool is more resilient than first thought and still good in India's overall tiger population

julianmatthews | about 6 years ago

If Dollars dad is Jumaroo, does that make Machali, Dollars grandma? If so, giving that Unnis is Machalis daughter, would it be safe for Dollar & Unnis to mate, in terms of the cubs being healthy, given they share the same genetic gene pool.

tigerfan | about 6 years ago

Lets hope that she can deal with these two males more succesfully than her sister was able to.

julianmatthews | about 6 years ago

24 Jan 2013 Tiger diary over 6 years ago

A new chapter - A world away from Dad by Julian Matthews

Two gorgeous sisters, who have come to represent all that is best in the wilds of Ranthambhore, will have both woken up today in a whole new wild world. They have been da...

Tiger: Dollar

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Lets hope they start a whole new dynasty in their new park.

Demanda | over 6 years ago

correct. Is a bit of a new empire building in Sariska

julianmatthews | over 6 years ago

I really hope they will fine. They have relatives in Sariska, too? Athara and Sharmelee, who would be their Great Aunts or something...

Aishwarya | over 6 years ago

I really hope they both do well. I look forward to hearing how they get on after such a move.

blackberry04 | over 6 years ago

01 Dec 2012 Tiger diary over 6 years ago

Dollar. Any girls out there? by Yadvendra Singh

Dollar is a bit short of female company. Having let go of his two adopted daughters who have now matured and live in the territory of one of his rival’s, Sultanpur, Dollar is...

Tiger: Dollar

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

03 Nov 2012 Tiger diary over 6 years ago

Dollar is not a happy man by Hemraj Meena

The famous Dollar - the huge male who mothered his two daughters to adulthood from only 4 months olds - is on the war path yesterday, seen strutting furiously between Rajbagh...

Tiger: Dollar

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

What an amazing animal

Valtravel | over 6 years ago

Satra's a clever one...

Aishwarya | over 6 years ago

Great diary. Dollar is a real character. A special tiger, but then again they all are. But i love the ones with individuality that shines. I must follow this guy.

KayTiwari | over 6 years ago

This is interesting!!

sachin | over 6 years ago

Clever Satra.

kinshuk | over 6 years ago

21 Sep 2012 Tiger diary over 6 years ago

MONSOON DIARIES : Dollar finds himself in an unlikely spot by Yadvendra Singh

Dollar (T25) has been on the move – a big move it would appear. His adopted daughters have now left him and seek pastures new, on the edge of their father’s territory. Ho...

Tiger: Dollar

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

This is link to the video ENJOY!!

kinshuk | over 6 years ago

Can you share the link of the video please?

sachin | over 6 years ago

Jullian just saw your video on youtube. It was just inspiring.Good work.

kinshuk | over 6 years ago


Photo-icon Photos: 29

Small_img_9428 Small_img_9515 Small_dollar Small_20141227_104910 Small_dollar_t25-1296 Small_t_28_rtr30may2014_024 Small_t-25_dollar-1257 Small_t-25 Small_dsc_2878e_lifer_tiger Small_unnis_and_dollar_post_mating._hemraj_meena Small_img_6210__tn Small_dollar_1 Small_dollar_t25_restless_in_november__yadvendra_singh Small_dollar_t25_up_close__29th_nov_yad_singh Small__mg_6124 Small_dollar_2 Small_dollar_s_cubs._hemraj_meena_may_12 Small_dollars_cubs_in_march_2012._17_months._balendu_singh Small_t5_hemraj_meena Small_bina_1__left__and_bina_2__right___balandu_singh_april_2012 Small_img_0028 Small_img_0889 Small_dollar_and_his_dollar_sign_id Small_father_and_his_daughter_walk_towards_satra Small_father_scalds_his_daughter_for_misbehaviour Small_dad_and_his_daughter_on_patrol_in_teh_park._balendu_singh__2_ Small_father_greets_satna__a_young_female__within_his_territory._salim_ali._jpg Small_father_and_his_daughter_walk_towards_satra Small_img_6447


17 Oct 2015 Photo was added over 3 years ago


After feeding at a kill Dollar walked across to this waterbody for a drink and to beat the heat! This picture was taken around 5:30 pm and he stayed in the waterbody till everybody left.

Mini_25247_381332141482_1044655_n Uploaded by Varun Narain Mathur  

Zone 6 is currently rocking you see noor & her cubs out here or in zone 1 along with T-34 . Best zone to visit currently along with zone 3

anthonymalik73 | over 3 years ago

I heard that Noor is sighted in Zone-6 with her cubs. Is that true

neelyadav | over 3 years ago

Nice to see a pic of Dollar. When was this sighted and which area?

imtiazkhank | over 3 years ago

25 Sep 2015 Photo was added over 3 years ago


The photograph is of Dollar beating the heat in the peak of Summers. Photo was taken in the evening safari around 5:30pm.

Mini_25247_381332141482_1044655_n Uploaded by Varun Narain Mathur  

27 Dec 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


Dollar male - For comparison purposes

Mini_img_3953 Uploaded by Mike Curtis  

Thanks for this picture! Clears up my confusion!

Aishwarya | over 4 years ago

Nice picture Mike. Its a technical hitch that has called thsi Dollar because you are right Dollar has his very distinctive dollar sign on his right flank!

julianmatthews | over 6 years ago

27 Dec 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


We saw this gorgeous boy in Zone 5. I was thrilled when our Guide told us that this was Zalim or Dollar Male as I've been impressed with this boy ever since he managed to raise his daughters on his own. Our Guide told us that he raised two of his litters. Which was the other one?

Mini_img_20150207_022149 Uploaded by Aishwarya G  

Zaalim is dollar. I guess

Animesh | over 3 years ago

I think this is zaalim T-74 not dollar we saw him on my last visit in may 15 in Zone 5

anthonymalik73 | over 3 years ago

1st litter might have been unnis's cubs

Animesh | over 3 years ago

Dollar raised one litter . their mother died . unknown female . 2nd litter MAY BE sundari's cubs after she went missing. Not sure

Animesh | over 3 years ago

Thank you. We saw T64 in Zone 5, not 6

Aishwarya | over 4 years ago

Yes....T64...not Dollar....Dollar has his own territory far away from zone 6...... in zone 4 & 5 not in zone 6...

yadvendra | over 4 years ago

Yes, this is Aakash (T-64) from the 1st litter of Unnis (T-19) & not Dollar. Although he is yet to establish a firm territory, he does wander around areas overlapping a couple of other males in Zone-2,3,4 & 5.

Vijayarajan | over 4 years ago

I was told this was Dollar, but on comparing with the pictures in Tigernation, I think this is Akash (T64)

Aishwarya | over 4 years ago

07 Nov 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


Sultanpur or Ustad (t24) in fine fettle yesterday behind the fort.

Mini__dsc4189 Uploaded by Hemraj Meena  

Wow.. T24 Sultanpur male looks in great shape. :)

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

dollar male tiger as the dollar mark is clearly visible

mahesh | over 4 years ago

You are right Sachin - one the case. Ustad is T24 - and this is Ustad or we call him Sultanpur

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

Dollar is T25 and Ustad is T24, right? Which one is this?

sachin | over 4 years ago

12 Oct 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


Right flank of DOLLAR T25 ; here dollar sign is clearly visible which earned him this name.Spotted in Z-5 near Semaili area.

Mini_profile_image Uploaded by Vipin Sharma  

Good to know Dollar is still with us, as Ranthambhore is crowded!

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

17 Sep 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


The main man - T24 or Dollar - Very interesting behavior of regurgitating "fur ball" after i guess a good meal!

Mini_sp1_024 Uploaded by Satish Pradhan  

I remember to have read about such behavior long long back. Writer's name Aditimohan Raychaudhuri, area around Orissa, AP border, period around and just after WWII. I myself saw a big male tiger munching on a green bush in North Bengal and practically demolish it down to the stems. This tigers do to help in digesting meat, especially the day after a heavy meal. Yes a buffalo was taken from the Lepcha basti the previous night and almost half of it was devoured.

PinakiRoy52 | over 4 years ago

Wow... hearing such behaviour for the first time. The behavior mentioned by Kay must have been interesting to watch too.

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

Oops ! sorry guys (Admin please correct this) this is T 24 not T 28 !! Satish

SatishPradhan | over 4 years ago

Some different mood..lovelycaptured

Hemant.Masurkar | over 4 years ago

Lovely behavior captured.

vipinsharma | over 4 years ago

nice it's T24 btw

micah.charlery | over 4 years ago

Nice one. Saw this once when a young tiger ate piglets and regurgitated the hooves!

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

I know the feeling! It used to be often when I travelled around India !!

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

12 Jul 2014 Photo was added almost 5 years ago


Head on with Dollar (T-25) seen near Semli area. Seen frequently spraying / marking his territory

Mini_profile_image Uploaded by Vipin Sharma  

Nice to see Dollar, it seems like forever since there was any news on him

tigerfan | over 4 years ago

Very nice shot Vipin.

KayTiwari | almost 5 years ago

Daring male tiger in ranthambore

mahesh | almost 5 years ago

12 Jun 2014 Photo was added almost 5 years ago


Dollar (T25) Challenging T6 territory, is prowling now in T-6 aka Romeo’s prime and favourite territory Bhakola. It seems Ranthambhore is headed for turmoil.

Mini_self Uploaded by Trayambak Ojha  

He's my favorite of all the guys in Ranthambore. The way he looked after his 2 cubs in the past when their mother passed away was beyond anything in the tiger world.

leminh | almost 5 years ago

wonderful to see him finally!

KayTiwari | almost 5 years ago

I have missed Dollar for a long long time..Finally, someone gets a clean view of him!! :-) Thanks Trayambak

sachin | almost 5 years ago

Nice to have an update on Dollar and know that he is doing fine. :)

Kshitij | almost 5 years ago

Oh all right !!! Was wondering what had suddenly happened...would you be visiting delhi julian..would like to see you if possible.

jyotilegha | almost 5 years ago

Great to see Dollar again. I have missed this compassonate soul! Sorry I have been in Tadoba last few days without ability to publish photos et al.

julianmatthews | almost 5 years ago

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