Bhopal: Failure of authorities to act on an advice for relocating tigers from high density Bandhavgarh reserve to other habitats has allegedly resulted in death of a big cat due to infighting.
The carcass of the big cat was recovered by authorities in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, one of the six tiger habitats in Madhya Pradesh, in Umaria district on July 4.
Authorities in Bandhavgarh reserve have mentioned infighting as the reason of death in their first information report sent to Principal Chief Conservator of Forest of Wildlife Madhya Pradesh.
"It has been found after seeing surrounding areas (where the carcass was recovered) that the tiger had sustained injuries after fighting with another big cat which has possibly resulted in its death. There were foot marks of another tiger next to the body," the report by Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve said.
After initial investigation, it was noticed that back portion of the tiger had been eaten and there were also marks of canine teeth and claws on its back and neck, it said.
Bandhavgarh has 59 tigers, according to 2010 census of the big cats. The incident took place within 45 days after the Bandhavgarh authorities had brought to the notice of higher ups the need for relocating some of the tigers to other protected areas.
As the present density in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is high, it would be better if tigers living within enclosures (demarcated area for the protection of big cats) are moved to other protected areas with less density so that there are less chances of inbreeding, the report by Sudhir Kumar, Field Director of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve said.
The report, which was sent to PCCF (Wildlife) on May 21, also mentioned the need for training of staff entrusted with the safety and upkeep of tigers.
The people involved in safety and security of sub adult tigers living in these enclosures have not received any training for looking after the tigers, a job which is similar to "zoo keeping", the report said.
The management of a top priority animal like tiger in enclosure is not simple, but highly complicated and sophisticated task which can be done by a group of people who have good understanding of tigers behaviour, the report had said.
Ajay Dubey, a wildlife activist claimed that, there "were no steps taken by the authorities. They did not act in time which resulted in death of the tiger. There is a nexus of forest officials and poachers in Madhya Pradesh which is posing threat to the life of big cats".
He demanded strict action against the officials involved in the lapse. Six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh -- Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench -- have about 257 big cats.
Tiger population in the country was estimated to be 1,706 as per 2010 data.