Madhya Pradesh lost 10 tigers this year
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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.


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

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