New Delhi: Lack of "political will" and "gross neglect" by the management had led to the extinction of tigers from Wildlife sanctuaries, particularly Sariska, its former Field Director Sunayan Sharma said Friday.
Releasing his book "Sariska: The Tiger Reserve Roars Again", which reveals a unique experiment of shifting tigers from Ranthambore to Sariska for their conservation as a first of its kind initiative in the world, Sharma said that the poaching could have been stopped with proper intervention by the government.
"The tigers started disappearing in 2002 because of large scale poaching and by 2004 they were all gone," he said, adding that poachers had even made "machans" in and around the area to hunt.
"I showed it to a minister at that who helped us in dealing the case a bit. Even today there are lots of serious issues. There is lack of proper staff. Government is not recruiting guards and rangers for last 28 years," he said.
Restoration of tigers in Sariska Wild Sanctuary was India's first leap of success in conserving the national animal, Ravi Singh Secretary General WWF said.
"Sariska is the place where the Project Tiger was started first. We faced a lot of difficulties and resistance in shifting tigers as it was first such thing happening anywhere in the world. The grand success of it created ripples the world," he said.
Calling for attention from the government, BJP MP VP Singh said the Tiger is still vulnerable.
"The tigers are still vulnerable. They can disappear again as we have not been able to tackle the problem," he said.