Tiger death in MP: Ramesh seeks report from state

New Delhi: Perturbed by the death of a tigress in Mashya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh sanctuary, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has sought a report from the Chief Minister.

"The minister has taken a serious note of the matter and has asked Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan to probe the case thoroughly and send a report," a senior Environment official said.

He said MP Additional Principle Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Dharmendra Negi is investigating the case even as various theories for death of the ten-year-old feline on May 19 in the Tala Range of the reserve are doing rounds.

Meanwhile Reserve Field Director CK Patil has demanded a CID or CBI inquiry into the incident. "Patil has written to the State Chief Wildlife Warden RS Negi with such a request," the official said.

Earlier soon after the animal's death, Patil had said that "We are of the view that a tourist vehicle had hit the tigress after which she died. But it needs investigation."

Madhya Pradesh Government has already suspended three officials including an SDO and two range officers for alleged negligence.

Wildlife Expert Belinda Wright too demanded a thorough probe. "We have information that the poor animal was hit twice," she said.

The tigress' death, which left three cubs orphan, has also put a question mark on the current tourism policy being adopted across the country causing disturbance to the wildlife particularly endangered animals like big cats.

Earlier, a tiger had died after being hit by a tourist vehicle in Bandhavgarh in April 2009.

"Yes, there is a need to have regulated tourism in the sanctuaries to avoid disturbance to the wildlife. We have been sending advisory to the states but they are hardly been implemented," Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently written to several chief ministers asking for regulation of uncontrolled tourism on the periphery of tiger reserves like the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand.