Friday, January 28, 2011

Aggressive humans force big cat killing in Corbett

January 28, 2011 12:21:11 PM
Paritosh Kimothi Dehradun

A tiger was shot on Thursday in the Garjia area of Corbett National Park over the remains of a fifth human allegedly killed in an encounter with a wild animal.

Though park authorities claim that the slain big cat is the one responsible for human deaths in the national park during the past two-and-a-half months, questions are being raised about this theory. So far, authorities had been claiming that a tigress was responsible.

After discovery of the human remains near Garjia, a Forest Department team headed by the Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer Ravindra Juyal was combing the area when a male tiger was sighted.

After the tiger was found near the human remains, villagers cordoned off the area to trap it and put pressure on authorities to shoot the feline. The Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti blocked traffic on National Highway 121 from 8 am to 2:30 pm in protest.

The departmental team and police personnel fired up to 12 rounds, killing the big cat.

However, samiti president Munish Kumar said the villagers would continue the protest till the tigress believed to be responsible for the deaths of four women was killed. He said the last human killed was eaten by a pair of tigers so killing one tiger did not resolve the conflict in the area.

Park director Ranjan Kumar Mishra confirmed that a tiger had been shot by forest department personnel on Thursday. Wildlife activists, on the other hand, believe that the tiger has been killed unnecessarily due to public pressure, without the man-animal conflict being resolved in the area.

The remains of the fifth human allegedly killed by a tiger in Corbett National Park were discovered on Thursday morning in the Garjia area.

So far, authorities had been claiming that a tigress was responsible for the human deaths and that it had been shot by department personnel on January 11. However, this tigress was believed to have recovered from the single bullet wound and killed a fifth human, according to former honorary wildlife warden of the national park and member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Brijendra Singh.

Mishra said a crowd of hundreds of villagers had prevented a post-mortem of the feline on Thursday. As veterinarians have said that the examination should not be conducted in the dark, the post-mortem will now be conducted on the morning of January 28, he added.

According to official sources, two men on a scooter stopped briefly on a jungle path on January 26 while one of them went to the woods to relieve himself. This man, identified as 25-year-old Puran, was visiting his relatives in the Sunderkhal area and was missing since then. Only his legs were discovered in the Garjia area on the morning of January 27.

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