Advanced speedboats being acquired to tackle strayed tigers

Advanced speedboats being acquired to tackle strayed tigers

Kolkata (PTI): Close on the heels of incidents like tigers straying into human habits, the Forest Department will purchase advanced speedboats to rescue the big cats in such circumstances.

The boats, with a speed of 60 to 70 km per hour, will ferry the forest personnel from their base camp at Sajnekhali or Canning in South 24 Parganas district quickly in case of tiger visiting human habitats, Pradip Shukla, joint director of the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve told PTI here.

“According to the plan, if a tiger from the Sunderbans strays into any village as witnessed recently at Kultali and Jharkhali, forest department personnel in speedboats would reach the place swiftly and take measures to rehabilitate it,” he said.

The boats used by the forest department currently could not sail at more than 30 km per hour and did not have night navigation and other advanced features, Shukla said.

In Kultali where a tigress had strayed recently, forest department personnel had a difficult time keeping at bay agitated villagers, who beat it up after it mauled two persons. It took about 48 hours for the forest personnel to tranquilise and set the big cat free in the jungles.

“Tendering for acquiring the advanced speedboats is over and the order has to be placed,” he said.

It was necessary to respond quickly to save tigers from the wrath of the people. Two tigers, which had strayed, were beaten to death in 2001, Shukla said.

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