After all the disheartening stories of poaching that has emanated from the Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR), here is one that brings in a ray of hope. Three cubs were sighted in the tiger habitat and has brought joy to those in charge of conservation management in STR. The trio, believed to be about four months old is approximately two feet in length and a feet in height. And significantly, one of the three was melanistic, commonly known as black tiger.The sighting was reported earlier this week by the Range Officer of Upper Barahkamuda who was accompanying a scientist of Odisha Remote Sensing and Application Centre in Patbil beat at about 5.30 pm. “We have sealed off the area and no vehicles are allowed inside. Even departmental vehicles have been barred so that the cubs are not disturbed in any way. Only patrol teams can go in,” Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve, Anup Kumar Nayak, said.