Move to relocate tigress in Panna reserve flayed
9 Mar 2009, 1645 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Madhya Pradesh government’s move to relocate a female tigress in the Panna National Park without probing into the reasons for
disappearance of big cats there has come in for criticism from wildlife experts.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, prominent wildlife experts, including Belinda Wright, Valmik Thapar, Ullas Karanth and RS Chundawat, questioned the MP government’s “mindless” move to relocate the predators in Panna park which, they say, has become a “second Sariska”.
They pointed out “not a single tiger is left in Panna and it is imperative that the reasons for disappearance of tigers in the reserve are identified, and the causes of the tragic decline eliminated, before the re-introduction of any tigers from Bandhavgarh or Kanha.”
On March 3, MP forest officials tranquilised a tigress in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve and relocated it to Panna national park as a part of its breeding programme.
However, the operation has drawn flak by the activists who alleged that “all the rules were thrown out of the winds as it was carried out without close consultation with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) or known tiger experts.”
They claimed that the Panna operation was done so “hurriedly” that even a collar to keep track of the newly moved tigress is yet to be procured.
The activists alleged that the exercise was carried out without taking the local communities and stakeholders into confidence.
“Because of this, in Kanha from where the second tigress is said to be coming, villagers, tribals, drivers and guides have united to oppose the move,” they pointed out.
“What is the guarantee of security of this tigress?,” the experts asked, demanding accountability on the part of the state officials.