10 tigers dead in last six months
First Published : 03 Jul 2009 03:59:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 03 Jul 2009 11:19:43 AM IST
BANGALORE: There has been an alarming increase in the number of tiger deaths this year. With 45 deaths in the first six months, 2009 can be termed as one of the worst years for tigers in the country.
In Karnataka alone, which boasts of a healthy population of around 280 tigers, 10 tiger deaths have been reported in the past six months. Unlike other states, where the major cause of the deaths of tigers is poaching, the state forest officials assert that in Karnataka, the deaths are mostly natural.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, PCCF B K Singh, said that barring a single incident at Nagarhole where a tiger was poached, the other deaths were natural. However, according to police records, around five tiger pelts were confiscated in the past six months, proving that poaching was thriving in Karnataka.
“The state was once considered a safe heaven for tigers. But not anymore.
Poaching is slowly creeping into Karnataka and the number of pelts confiscated reveals that we have to be on guard,” said Sanjay Gubbi of Wildlife Conservation Society.
“We still do not have the data readily available,” he added.
Praveen Bhargava of Wildlife First said that there were various reasons for the deaths of tigers in the state. Sometimes they got old and died and sometimes they died due to the loss of their canine teeth, Bhargava added.
He said though poaching was not as bad in Karnataka as in other states, we needed to keep a constant vigil.