After 20 years, Bengal tiger sighted

After 20 years, Bengal tiger sighted

Subhadeep Saha

JALPAIGURI, April 3: Bengal tiger has been sighted in the Baikunthapur Forest and Nathu beat of Ramsai range under the Jalpaigur forest division after a gap of 20 years.

Claiming to have spotted a tiger at Gouricon in Baikanthapur, the conservator of forest, Northern Circle, Mr Manindra Nath Biswas said: “I spotted the young tiger in January when I was inspecting the forest along with the local beat and range officers. The tiger stood on our path, gave us a close look and then moved away. Initially we thought it was a big leopard but the black stripes on its body and walking style confirmed it was a Bengal. The tiger was about eight-and-a-half feet long and we have collected its pugmarks. Neither the locals nor the foresters have seen a tiger in these forests in the past 20 years. It was also the first time I saw a tiger in the wild.”

The second sighting happened in the Nathua beat of Ramsai range a few days ago. On 16 March, the DFO Jalpaiguri division Mr Kalyan Das submitted a report to the CF Wild Life North Mr PT Bhutia mentioning that a mature tiger was roaming in that area. The locals have spotted the tiger and the forest department has collected its pugmarks.

The sightings have brought cheers and concern alike among the foresters. “We are increasing security level in those two particular areas after the tiger sightings and deploying special vigilance for the security of the predators,” said the CF Mr Bhutia.

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