Re-introduction of tigers in Sariska keeps experts on toes

Re-introduction of tigers in Sariska keeps experts on toes

Sunday, May 4, 2008 : 1225 Hrs

New Delhi (PTI): Experts at Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) are treading cautiously as they initiate the process of re-introduction of striped cats in Sariska from Ranthambore National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan.

“Translocating an animal from one habitat to another is fraught with several risks. It is a traumatic experience particularly for tigers, they being extremely territorial animals. If not handled carefully, the process can be fatal,” WII director P R Sinha told PTI here.

Following in-principal approval from the National Tigers Conservation Authority (NTCA) as well the Centre, the WII is in the midst of identifying the animals to be shifted from Ranthambore National Park to Sariska where poachers wiped out all the tigers.

Talking about the inherent risks involved in shifting of animals, Sinha said, “The animal has to be tranquilised for smooth shifting from one place to another. Extra precautions are must to ensure that animal remains medically fit during translocation, in this case almost 12-hour journey from Ranthambore to Sariska.”

Of 10-12 cubs identified for the purpose, a pair in the age group of 3-4 years will be relocated to Sariska spread over 1,300 sq km, having “excellent” prey base.

“Though no time frame can be spelled out but we want that the animals reach Sariska before monsoon to minimise the shifting risks,” he said.

Ranthambore National Park is witnessing a robust tiger population with a good number of cubs. As a result some of them are not finding adequate space in the core and buffer areas of the park and consequently move out to human habitats.

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