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Jailed in Jungle: Why Wild Tigress Languishes in Enclosure, Needs to Be Probed

Two years ago, two wild tigers were relocated from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha under India’s maiden interstate -tiger translocation programme which failed miserably. The two big cats were shifted  to Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha after its tiger population plummeted  from 11 in 2004 to 2 in 2014. One of the big cats  Mahavir sent from MP was reportedly  killed by poachers while Sundari, the tigress, accused of killing two persons,  landed behind barbed wires in a small  enclosure raising questions over the  wildlife management in the country. Many wildlife experts in  India feel that the Satkosia fiasco should be probed and the people responsible for the plight of the national animal  should be held accountable. Condemned to Captivity Before Sundari was condemned to captivity in  Ghorela enclosure in Mukki range of of Kanha  National park,  the tigress had  already  spent an agonizing period of  28 months in captivity in Satkosia, where it was sent  to find a new home and help populat

Wire Snares in Maharashtra Jungles Sound Alert

 


After the death of three tigers in Maharashtra in the third week of March, the government of the Western Indian state is on an alert mode to check the wildlife crime especially the menace of wire snares which are laid to trap the wild animals including the big cats. Two of the three deaths looked suspected cases of poaching where claws of the tigers were also missing. With these three deaths, the tiger mortality count since January 1st this year has gone up to 14.This included  two cubs which were killed by tiger named Surya in Umred-Paoni-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar issued directives to the field staff of the forests department to step- up patrolling  in view of the Holi celebrations, during which a lot of herbivore poaching is done by deploying wire snares. One of the World Wildlife Fund(WWF) studies reported that these snares are insidious and have become a major contributor to the extintction of animals in the entire Suth-East Asia. Tigers too have fallen in the trap. The study says these snares are easy to make using wildly available material like the bicycle cable wires and are easy to set up.

 Missing Paws Create Poaching Suspicion

The first suspected case of poaching was detected at a small water body near a village road in Maregaon forest range in Wani tehsil of Yavatmal district where the body of about 4 -year old tigress was spotted with injuries around neck . The nearest wildlife sanctuary where the carcass was spotted is Tipeshwer. The place where the tigress carcass was spotted is also near Chandrapur district where Tadoba-Andhari tiger reserve is located. “The animal seemed to be a dispersal tigress from either of the two reserved forests”, forest department sources said. The forest officers suspected that the tigress was choked to death due to a wire snare around her neck. However, the real cause of the death was not known as a post mortem report was awaited .  This incident was reported around 1 in the afternoon on March 23 ,when a shepherd spotted the animal carcass near Shikar village on Ghonsa-Sonegaon road.  “The surrounding area was scanned as per the standard operating procedure of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)”, officials later said. Maregaon's range forest officer Vikrant Khade informed the local media that there were injuries on the neck of the tigress and were probably caused due to wire snare.

Also read:8- Year After Tiger Killing, Poachers  Get Jail Sentence  in MP

In another suspected case of poaching around 2 pm , yet another tiger carcass was located by a forest guard of Warpani beat in Risala forest range near village Sarra .”This area adjoins Nagalwadi range of Pench Tiger Reserve”, forest department officials said .”All the 4 paws have been found to be chopped off “,  they said . The full grown tiger seemed to have died about a week ago. “The probable cause of death shall be known after post mortem”, the department said.The third was found dead in an irrigation canal of Bor dharan (dam) on March 21 .The PCCF wildlife Kakodkar said, “The Bor Dharan case doesn’t seem to be poaching as body parts of the tigress were intact. The tigress was found in the canal water and may have possibly drowned due to exhaustion. But it is also possible that the body might have been thrown in water after being found dead somewhere else. No electrocution marks, however, have been found.”

 Officials Deny Poaching

Denying poaching suspicion , Kakodkar told the local media , “The carcass found near Nagalwadi range was about  week old and in a highly decomposed state. The gender of the dead tiger will be ascertained after due examination of pelvic bone. But the teeth of the tiger seem to be highly worn out, indicating that it was an old tiger and may have died of old age. Sometimes, miscreants do run away with paws when they find a dead tiger. We will try to trace them on Wednesday using the dog squad.”

Also read :Another tiger loses life in eco-sensitive railzone connecting India

Regarding the Maregaon range tiger death,  forest department officials in Maharashtra said , “the tigress was found with a wire snare around her neck. We suspect the snare might have been laid for some other animal… and the tigress may have been trapped in it. All body parts of the tigress, however, are intact”.When all this was happening, a tiger was also found dead in the core area of the Pench tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. Forest department claimed the tiger died because of “territory fight”. The tiger carcass spotted in the core zone was also 5 to 6 days old.

Representational file pictures 

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