UP minister intervenes to save stray tiger
23 Jan 2009, 1613 hrs IST, REUTERS
LUCKNOW: Alerted by the intervention of the high court, Uttar Pradesh Forest Minister Fateh Bahadur Singh has come to the rescue of the young tiger that strayed out of the forest in Pilibhit district of UP and has already killed three people.
"I have made it very clear to my officials that they must not leave any stone unturned to first trap or tranquilise the tiger. Killing the animal could be only the last resort," Singh said on Friday.
The two-and-a-half year old tiger has killed three people in the past two months and was declared a "man-eater".
A wildlife enthusiast moved a public interest litigation (PIL) petition before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court to restrain the wildlife department officials from gunning down the tiger. Taking cognizance of the petition, the court directed the department to furnish a detailed counter-affidavit and fixed Jan 28 as the date for the next hearing.
In a swift response, the minister decided to intervene in the matter.
He said: "Not only in this case but it is our standard policy not to allow killing of a tiger. We are equally concerned over the fate of the endangered species."
Petitioner Kaushlendra Singh, who is also a member of the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board, said: "Thousands of people die every year on account of snake bites, but does that entitle the government to order killing of all snakes?"
"In the same manner how can you issue a death warrant for a tiger simply because he kills a human being and because the department is not able to tranquilise or trap the animal."