Panna may be down to just 1 tiger
5 Mar 2009, 0633 hrs IST, Suchandana Gupta, TNN
BHOPAL: Another Project Tiger-backed sanctuary has gone the Sariska way. Six years ago, Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh had more than 40 tigers.
On Tuesday evening, the state forest department shifted a tigress from the Bandhavgarh National Park for the lone reported tiger there. But this, too, has gone missing.
While MP forest department says the last male tiger — it hasn't been seen for the past 45 days — could have wandered into neighbouring forests in Chhattarpur, they aren't sure whether it left the park on its own or has gone missing.
Speaking to reporters, principal chief conservator of forests H S Pabla said: "We don't know where the tiger is. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has conducted a survey. We are waiting for the report."
In the June 2008 edition of an environment magazine, Pabla had claimed that Panna was flourishing with tigers. "There are enough tigers in the national park and the numbers are multiplying," he had claimed then. But in December last, a WWI survey using the camera trap method found only one surviving male in the sanctuary.
On Tuesday evening, the forest department tranquillised a four-year-old female tigress in the Tala range of Bandhavgarh National Park and sent her by road to Panna.