Thursday, September 14, 2006

Indian tiger death: Tight security at Corbett Natl Park

NDTV Correspondent

Thursday, September 14, 2006 (Jim Corbett):

In the usual practice of too little too late, vigilance and patrolling has been stepped up in and around Corbett after the killing of a male tiger on the weekend.

It is as of yet unclear if the men involved in killing the animal were there specifically to kill the tiger or if it was an opportunistic killing while they were waiting for deer and wildboar.

Of the three men, two are still missing and one is in hospital.

What makes this a case of shocking negligence however, is that the killed male tiger was an adult, which means his range of movement has been established for years something the forest guards in the area should have been aware of.

Scrambling to protect themselves from further criticism, forest officials in the Corbett national park have now stepped up patrolling which is what they should have been doing anyway.

Deaths over the months

Five tigers have died here under mysterious circumstances in the last nine months. But none of the post mortem reports have been made public

"This is a shocking instance of clear cut poaching and it only has proved to us that it is not enough to be vigilant inside the park but that protection must follow the tiger wherever it goes to the extent of its range," said Bhartari.

The Dhela area where this male tiger was killed last week is the same place where two tiger cubs had died earlier in the year.

It was suspected the cubs were poisoned and it is the local villagers in the park most of whom Rai Sikhs, who are suspected to be involved.

"They are known to kill deer and wildboar which is also illegal ofcourse. But this is the first time with a tiger," said Director.

As animals do not recognise man made boundaries often habitats outside national parks and sanctuaries are extended ranges for them.

But a demand from both Project Tiger and Project Elephant asking for protection to be extended beyond park boundaries has been gathering dust in the environment ministry for at least three years. id=93185&callid=1

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