Officials refute tiger missing claims

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Officials refute tiger missing claims

23 Dec 2008, 0037 hrs IST, Anindo Dey, TNN

JAIPUR: Brushing aside claims about 11 tigers missing from the Ranthambore sanctuary, forest officials said that it was a baseless allegation made by certain private individuals for personal gains. It is part of a design to get core area of the forest opened.

Sources in the state forest department said that a certain section has been attempting to open up restaurants and guest houses in core areas of the Ranthambore. “Claims of tigers missing from the sanctuary are designed to misguide tourists thereby sparking an outcry to have core areas opened up for a better view of the tiger. This section is interested in opening shops in Ranthambore and so the allegations.

However, officials of the department refused to comment on it and just contended that claims of 11 tigers missing from the forest are mainly of those that have died an accidental deaths over a certain period of time.

“In May 2007, three cubs had fallen into a well accidentally. While two died of impact, the third one died during treatment and an enquiry is on. One tiger has migrated to the Kailadevi sanctuary in search of greener pastures but we are regularly tracking it.

“Another tiger whose body was found at Gura had died in a territorial fight and post-mortem reports have confirmed it. However, the two cubs that she had are still alive and we have pictures to justify our claims,” said the chief wild Life warden Rajasthan RN Mehrotra.

He added that two tigers have been translocated to Sariska while the an adult tigress has changed her territory from Sultanpur to other areas like Halonda, Bhairupura, Laxmipura, etc. However, Yuvraj, another tiger, was hunted down and an FIR (no: 818/10) had been lodged in this regard in December 2007 and four persons were arrested.

“In fact it is well-known how everyone celebrated when about two years back 13 cubs were born at Ranthambore. Out of these eight were males and it is these tigers that have grown up and are roaming about the forest in search of their territory,” he said adding that this is a perfectly normal phenomena.

“We cannot keep tigers tied down to one like cattle herd and have to allow them movement,” he said.

Mehrotra also said that the tigers at Ranthambore are being regularly tracked with the help of officials of the Wild Life Institute of India. “Besides we have also installed 42 trap cameras and installed five radio collars for monitoring their movements. We keep changing the position of the trap cameras regularly and so can say that the tigers are safe,” Mehrotra said.

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