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Officials keep watch as Panna tiger takes lost route

 

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal |
Indian Express, March 10, 2014

For nearly a fortnight, Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) authorities are closely monitoring the movement of a male tiger heading towards Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve because if the animal reaches there, it will create history by retracing a lost corridor.

The distance between the two parks as the crow flies is about 120 kilometre. The big cats once prowled freely in the Panna-Bandhavgarh corridor, but a large swathe of it has now been lost due to fragmented habitat, agriculture and development.

Named P 212, the tiger had covered nearly 70 km from the southern boundary of the park at a fast clip before the recent rains slowed it down. The big cat is being tracked from a radio-collar.

The park authorities heaved a sigh of relief last week when it crossed a human settlement. Villagers were reportedly unhappy because elephants used by the monitoring party threatened crops and some wanted the feline to be recaptured. The authorities, however, managed to persuade them.

PTR director R S Murthy told The Indian Express that if everything goes well, the tiger could take a month to complete the journey. He said the park is neither guiding the tiger, nor interfering with its natural movements.


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