JAIPUR: Even though officials are yet to ascertain the cause of deaths of two sub-adult tigers in Aanwad-Ki-Khad Zone 10 of Ranthambhore National Park (RNP) in April this year, another male tiger, T-77, has been missing from the same zone at around the same time. The has not been sighted for over four months.
Assistant conservator of forest (RNP) Mukesh Saini said, “It’s been four months since we have recorded the movement of the big cat in . It is believed the tiger may have moved to Kuno-Palpur forest area in Madhya Pradesh.”
Tiger T-77, a litter of tigress T-26, is nearly four years old. The forest department assigned it the number after the tiger turned two years old in 2016.
Wildlife activists have not ruled out poaching, considering the national park’s history. The two sub-adult tigers that were found dead in Aanwad-ki-Khad area were allegedly poisoned.
There are many villages in close proximity of the region that poses a threat to the big cat. The nearby villages include Aanwad, Bhairoonpura, Laxmipura, Lasoda , Jetpur , Godal and Sawaiganj, among others.
Sunayan Sharma, president of the Sariska Tiger Foundation and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s representative for the post-mortem of the two sub-adult tigers, said, “The tiger, T-77, going to Kuno-Palpur is just an assumption.”
RNP has more tigers than capacity
Sunayan Sharma said, “Actually, RNP has more tigers than its capacity, forcing the big cats to move into close proximity to human habitation that pose a threat to them.”
Wildlife lovers alleged the state was losing its tigers to MP and blamed the state forest department for callously dealing with the issue. Simrat Sandhu, a wildlife enthusiast and a green activist, said, “Under the Right to Information Act, we have sought information from the forest department on the correspondence with the MP government about the movement of our tigers in their territory. However, no information has been provided till date.”
Even though two sub-adult tigers have died and one has gone missing since April, the forest department seems to be in no mood to investigate the matter seriously, Sandhu alleged. According to forest officials, traces of rodenticide (a poison used to kill rodents) were found in the viscera of two sub-adult tigers as per the report submitted by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICRI), Bareilly. “The report from IVRI was received on July 12. Following this, a fivemember inquiry committee was constituted, headed by principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Rajeev Goyal. More than one month has passed. However, not a single meeting has been convened till date,” said a source.
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