Skip to main content

Stone Pelting on Tiger Cubs :Kanha Pench Corridor Becomes Conflict Zone

 Two tiger cubs- less than 6 month old- escaped the fury of a 5000 strong mob in a village located in Kanha-Pench corridor . Villagers tried to kill them by pelting stones when the cubs had reached a water body to quench their thirst. This issue  has highlighted again the plight of the fragmented tiger corridors. It also reminds the urgency to restore their sanctity. People Shouted Kill the Cubs Kill the Cubs  Wildlife is most vulnerable during summer, due to scarcity of resources. Water is the key limited resource inside jungles . Special monitoring ofwater holes should be carried out all along the corridors, to effectively deter such incidents, poaching of herbivores and poisoning of tigers and othercarnivores. In the scorching summer, the two cubs also reached a nearby waterbody . In the adjacent forest , the villagers were plucking tendu leaves- a minor forest produce  to  roll beedi , a thin cigarette or mini-cigar filled with tobacco flake and commonly wrapped in a tendu leaf. Th

Tiger Cubs In MP National Park Are Safe, But For How Long ?

Tiger Cubs in MP National Park

Three tiger cubs orphaned by a speeding train in Sanjay Dubri National park are alive and kicking- thanks to huge efforts made by the park management.  But the trains- not two, three or four but  as many as 25 -  hurtling across the  tiger reserve- continue to pose  threat to the life of the big cats and other wildlife in this beautiful  ecological hotspot situated on the  north eastern end of Sidhi district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh .Saving Sanjay Dubri means saving the beautiful Sal forest and other benefits linsked  with the environment. Meanwhile, planning for the expansion of the existing   tracks to double railway lines also continues.

Cubs Monitored Round the Clock

Tiger Cubs in MP National Park are Safe

The beautiful tigress was hit by the speeding train in the third week of March leading to her painful death caused by multiple injuries. It was not only a loss of a breeding tigress but also that of orphaning of the four cubs. In the absence of the mother’s protection, one of them was killed by a tiger in only a few days.  The remaining three went missing. Soon the park management launched search operations. Thick forest pockets where the tigress had died were explored. And within a few days the cubs were located.  “They were  hungry and thirsty and terrified after  the death of their mother ”, said the field staff of the forest involved in the rescue operation of the cubs .


 Ever since, the cubs are cornered to one part of the forest and it has been closed for the tourists. They are being monitored 24X7. The park staff also ensures that they get food and there is no scarcity of water around them. Less than one year of age, they also kill the small animals left around them by the workers involved in their safety and protection. There are as many as 22 big cats in the park and 19 cubs. All of them along with other carnivores and herbivores continue to be exposed to the risk of being hit by trains carrying coal and passengers.  Park sources said that there were as many as 50  known deaths of wild animals including the tigress  in the past 12 years by these trains . They include sloth bear, hyena, spotted deer and wild boars among others.

Jungle or Junction

Tiger Cubs In MP National Park Are Safe

Trains violate the tranquility of the park almost every hour. As they enter the jungle and approach Dubri   Kalan railway station- named after a village of the same name yet to be relocated from the core area of the forest where the station is located- they whistle loudly and fly- past with a great speed.  One of the trains- Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express -travels at a speed of 100 km  an hour. The state forest department and the park managers have already written to the Railways to ensure that the locomotive pilots lower down the speed while crossing the jungle. Majority of the trains crossing the park are laden with coal. When loaded they move with a speed of 70 kms an hour and when they return empty, the speed is even higher.  
 

Two Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) trains also halt at the station leading to another threat. The trains bring passengers   to the core area of the forest which are unknown to forest rangers. In every park, entry is allowed only through specified park gates and all the people traveling in the vehicles are known.  This has increased the poaching threat in the jungle as Katni junction  connected directly with Dubri kala  and situated about 100 kms away from Dubri  station- is a   poachers' paradise. It is identified by TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, as one of the hotspots for the smuggling of wild animals including the tiger and their body parts. There is also a staff of about 35 people including railways’ gangmen posted at the station. Many of them come from Beohari- the railway station next to Dubri Kalan- every day and return home in the evening.  “There is a lot of unmonitored movement of people not good for any national park”, the forest department said.

Double Track Threat Looms Large 

Tiger Cubs In MP National Park Are Safe

When such is the danger posed by a single line of the railways, imagine the double track threats. They would simply double killing more animals and bring more unknown people to the park. Dubri Kalan village with over 1200 people and a large number of livestock and dogs will soon be shifted out of the jungle making the station redundant .

Also Read: Rape of a Jungle :Palamu National Park 

But passengers of Dubri kalan are not the railways’ concern. The railways are making money from the transportation of coal. Millions are made by the Indian Railways by the coal freight from Singrauli district Madhya Pradesh to other parts of the state. Though India has promised to bring down its coal consumption, tons of coal   continues to be excavated from Singrauli coalfields.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frame By Frame: Tigers Fight In Kanha National Park

  Kanha National Park reverberated with the roars of two fighting tigers. They stood tall on their hind legs and charged each other aggressively blowing the dust from the dry forest ground . Their deadly paws opened as the tigers pounced upon each other roaring loudly exposing their deadly canines .They apparently fought for a female. She later moved away from the sparring stripes and they too calmed down. As the roars echoed through the jungle, other wild animals were frightened. Such fights  are major causes of tiger deaths in the wild.  The Epic Fight It happened on April 27 mornings in the Mukki zone of Kanha tiger reserve. Some tourists shot the epic battle on their   mobile phones. The two tigers -Neel Nalla Male and Bhoin Dabra fought ferociously.  The tigress known as Jhila Lime was believed to be the reason behind the big fight.  In India's tiger reserves, local guides and  drivers   give amusing names to the  big cats   . And these names are based on either the appearance

It's Time to Radio Collar Urban Tigers of Bhopal

The tigers roaming around Bhopal, a phenomenon first of its kind in the world, are required to be radio collared. In all there is movement of 18 big cats in a tiger corridor near the state capital, six of them have become resident tigers of Bhopal.  Termed as urban tigers by the state forest department, they are seen venturing near the campuses of the universities situated on city outskirts, government office building premises and parks. Tiger sighting is common on Kerwa and Kaliyasot roads in Bhopal. Radio collaring of these resident tigers would facilitate monitoring of their movements in and around the city. It is also necessary for the safety of the people. Unforgettable 180 Seconds of Watchman On February 6- night this year, a tiger sighting was recorded in Bhoj Open University in Bhopal, a terrifying nightmarish experience for the university guards.   The tiger entered the bungalow campus of the university vice chancellor after scaling the boundary wall. However, which  one of th

Super Moms Of Tiger Reserves In India

  As the world observed International Mother’s day, we remember some super moms in the national parks of India. The tigresses are known for their fertility   and have fascinated a large number of tourists across the globe.  Speaking of super moms in the world of tigers, who can forget Sita of Bandhavgarh and Machli of Ranthambhore? Though mystery shrouded her death, Sita was, perhaps, the first  among the super moms, a term created by the media. National Geographic immortalized Sita  when she was featured on the cover of the magazine in 1997. The “tiger mother” attracted global attention. Like a sumer mom, Machli protected her cubs as she fought  with a giant crocodile.   Sita: The First Super Mom Companion of the famous tiger of the park ‘Charger’, Sita  gave birth to 16  cubs in her lifetime before she was  poached. The pair of Charger and Sita brought Bandhavgarh on the wildlife tourism map of the world. The jungle stories revolving around the duo kept the tourist footfall in the pa