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Tigress killing condemned; NTCA to send fact-finding team

 


Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Sep 26, 2011

NAGPUR: Even as the brutal killing of the Maharashtra tigress by a furious mob in Bhakru Tola near Bamni on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border is being widely condemned, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will send a fact-finding team to ascertain the truth.

The full-grown tigress (around 4 years) was beaten to death right in front of the Rajnandgaon DFO and other field staff by a mob of over 5,000 villagers on Saturday.

"We've taken a serious note and are considering sending a fact-finding team to look into all aspects of the incident," SP Yadav, joint director of NTCA told TOI on Sunday.

When asked whether the NTCA nod was sought before releasing the tigress in the Navegaon National Park, Yadav said, he will have to check up. NTCA member-secretary Rajesh Gopal did not respond to the calls made to him.

State officials deny or are not ready to confirm whether it is the same tigress that was released in Navegaon. However, there are indications from the field staff that it is the same tigress that was spotted in the South Deori range. A forest official even confirmed that the pugmarks of the dead tigress matched with the ones recorded by them.

The brutal killing of tigress has come in for sharp criticism. Kishor Rithe, member, National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), condemned the act of the villagers. "People should feel ashamed for killing the vehicle of 'Durga' especially ahead of Navratri," he said.

When B Majumdar was PCCF (wildlife), he had started the practice of fitting transmitter chips below the tail of problem leopards trapped in Chandrapur. However, the practice seems to have been discontinued. Both the Katlabodi and the Navegaon tigress were not fitted with chips nor were they radio-collared.

Rithe said that such gears are good tools to monitor animals post their release into the wild. "The practice should not be stopped. If it is the Navegaon tigress, it supports the claim that there is a strong connectivity between Nagzira-Navegaon to the Chhattisgarh forest and tigers still disperse through the corridor which needs to be protected," Rithe said.

On the release of problem tigress in Navegaon, Rithe said every tigress which is released is only after permission from the NTCA. "If it is a fit case for release, then only NTCA gives it nod," he added.

Nitin Desai, director of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), Central India, says the incident proves that people don't have sympathy towards wildlife.

"It is still a source of cheap meat and tigers continue to be considered as perpetual nuisance. The department needs to wake up now," Desai stressed.


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