Tiger sighted in Valmiki reserve after six months
Sanjeev Kumar Verma, TNN, May 14, 2010, 04.42am IST
PATNA: Almost after a gap of six months, a tiger was sighted in Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) on Thursday morning. The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) assistant manager, Samir Sinha, sighted the big cat near the rest house in the Govardhana range of the reserve. Sinha is looking after the camera trap work of the ongoing tiger census work in the reserve.
“Around 5 am, while moving on the Govardhana-Manguraha forest road for collecting certain census-related data, I sighted the tiger,” Sinha told TOI, adding: “I have been working in VTR for the last seven years but didn’t have the chance to sight a tiger earlier.”
VTR director J P Gupta, who was the first one to be informed about the tiger sighting and who had himself sighted a leopard in the Govardhana range itself a few months back, said: “Such things indicate that the efforts put into making the reserve a safe place for the felines are showing good results.”
Prior to this, one tiger was sighted by forest guards in the Someshwar block of the reserve in November last year. A tigress with two cubs was sighted in August in the Manpur area located near the eastern boundary of the reserve last year as well.
The news of tiger sighting from Bihar’s only tiger reserve must be music to the ears of wildlife lovers, as VTR, in the past two months, witnessed the killing of a tiger and a leopard.
While the tiger was poisoned to death in the Madanpur range of the reserve in March after it killed one buffalo belonging to locals, a leopard was killed by villagers at Shahpur Parsauni village four days ago after it strayed into the village and killed a villager and injured five others.
The Thursday sighting apart, wildlife lovers can also take solace from the fact that the ongoing tiger census has given some very encouraging signs. “Camera trap data collected from Raghia, Manguraha and Govardhana ranges is very encouraging with movement of tigers being trapped in these cameras on a regular basis,” Sinha said.
Refusing to draw conclusions about the exact number of tigers on the basis of these findings, he, however, claimed that such things could be done only after comprehensive analysis of data collected in different stages of the census.