Race against poachers
Statesman News Service
JAIPUR, Dec. 28: Tigers will once again roam the Sariska National Park. The majestic cats were wiped out by poachers. The Sariska tiger reserve in Alwar district of Rajasthan was once a tourist hot spot. It is set to regain its lost glory.
“We will bring two tigers from the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve by the end of January or early February. Three more tigers will be brought later,” said Mr RN Mehrotra, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan.
The tigers will initially be kept in an enclosure in Sariska for 10 days, to allow the animals to adapt to their new habitat. The topography of the park is similar to that of Ranthambore.
The diverse flora of the reserve comprising a mix of dry deciduous foliage, scrub and thorny forest and grass plains support a wide variety of animal life. Sariska is larger than the Ranthambore National Park.
The authorities are taking precaution to ensure that these cats do not meet the fate of their predecessors. Steps have been initiated to curb vehicular movement on the Sariska-Kalighati-Tehla and Alwar-Sariska-Thanagazi state highways running through the reserve. Many animals, including panthers, have been crushed to death under the wheels of speeding vehicles.
“We have also decided to intensify night patrolling in the reserve to curb poaching. We have deployed 60 home guards and 30 ex-military personnel in the reserve for tiger protection,” Mr Mehrotra said.
To ensure the safety of both the wild animals and villagers living near the park, the authorities will relocate villagers within the perimeter of the reserve. A total of 150 villagers from Bhagani have been relocated and the process is on at the Khakwadi village.
The Umri and Haripura villages will also be shifted out of the reserve.
“There has been many instances of villagers killing wild animals that stray into the village, including the recent killing of a panther in Mozipura village, on the outskirts of Ranthambore last week,” he said.
Tiger pug marks were last spotted in Sariska in 2004 and it was confirmed within a year that the entire tiger population in the park had been killed by poachers.
For The Tiger
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