Tigers in Panna killed, probe report
Agencies Posted online: Tuesday , Jun 23, 2009 at 1935 hrs
New Delhi : Most of the tigers in Panna sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh were killed by poachers, a Special probe team set up by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has said while trashing the state officials' claim that the endangered species died natural deaths.
"Tigers can't disappear mysteriously had they died due to natural reasons. Poachers were highly active on the periphery of the park and killed all the wild cats," the Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by former NTCA director P K Sen told PTI.
The team, after declaring a few days ago that there was not a single tiger left in Panna sanctuary, probed the reasons for disappearance of predators from the park which two years ago had a healthy population of the animal.
Sen said the voluminous report on the reasons for tiger deaths was submitted to the Environment Ministry on Monday for further action in the matter.
"We have cited poaching as the main reason for the disappearance of the tigers," Sen added. Casting a shadow over the big cat population revival plan in Panna where two tigress were relocated recently, Sen said "while the poachers were on a killing spree, the officials remained in a denial mode about their existence."
"What's worse, the poachers seem to be active till today as they have killed a lone wild cat which was roaming outside the park," Sen said indicating the threat to the two tigress relocated in March from Bandhavgarh and Kanha sanctuaries to Panna.