Madhya Pradesh lost 10 tigers this year

Last Updated: Friday, December 24, 2010 - 11:12

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh, which is
popularly known as a tiger state, lost as many as 10 big cats
this year.

However, the number is four less than the total big
cat casualties reported last year.

"We have lost 10 tigers including cubs this year so
far while last year, the death of 14 big cats was reported,"
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF),
Wildlife, T R Sharma said.

He said no tiger has been poached in Madhya Pradesh
this year, while last year, two tigers were poisoned to death
in Seoni and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves.

"This year seven tigers were lost in the wilds of
different tiger reserves while three cats died of diseases in
Van Vihar Animal Rescue Centre where old and sick animals are
brought for keeping in a protected environment," the APCCF
said.

Last year, 13 big cats died in the wild and one at Van
Vihar Animal Rescue Centre, Sharma said.

The first tiger death was reported from drowning as
the animal was trapped in a pit inside a water body in the
Pench Tiger Reserve on January 27, officials said, adding that
the animal was around seven-years-old.

After this, a nine-month old tigress died in Kanha
Tiger Reserve on April 20. Thereafter, a 10-year-old tigress
died after being hit by a jeep in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve on
May 19. This incident was being probed by the state`s CID.

In a separate incident, a one-month-old cub died after
being attacked by another animal in Kanha Tiger Reserve on
June six, officials said.

In Pench Tiger Reserve, nails of a six-month-old cub
were recovered from some people on June 20 and during
interrogation the accused said that they found the animal dead
in the protected area.

The four arrested people told investigators that they
were practising black magic with the cub`s nails, officials
said.

A 10-year-old tiger died in territorial fight in the
buffer zone of Kanha on October six and the seven-year-old
tiger was lost due the same reason in Pench Tiger Reserve on
October 20, officials said.

Two tigresses in June and one tiger in October died
due to diseases in Van Vihar Animal Rescue Centre this year,
he added.

The mortality rate among tigers was very high at
around 50 per cent, Sharma said, adding the mortality rate was
high among the animals having short gestation period.

"Tiger protection is the top agenda of our
department," Sharma said, adding "a slew of measures have been
taken in this regard."

Tiger protection force has been constituted to protect
the big cat, he said, adding that night patrolling was being
carried out in and around the reserves and forest areas.

The forest ground duty staff have been equipped with
wireless and guns and chowkies have been erected to protect
big cats, Sharma said.

Ex-servicemen have been recruited and were manning the
protected areas in Madhya Pradesh, he said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 24, 2010 - 11:12

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