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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slow operations a boon for stray tiger

TNN Mar 19, 2012, 03.57AM IST LUCKNOW: The lazy pace of tiger-tracking operations at Rahmankhera could allow the big cat an extended stay. Some forest officials, who were part of the operation, have returned from Rahmankhera. The forest department has asked the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to send in more trained hands to capture the tiger.The big cat has been roaming in Rahmankhera for more than two months. During this period, some senior forest officials, including chief wildlife warden (CWW), have retired from the service. Sources say the slow pace of operations can be linked to these retirements. The incumbent CWW, Mohammad Ehsan, is also due to retire by March end. Another reason for that slow approach is that the department had drawn flak when it killed a stray tigress in 2009. Even NTCA had written to the forest department, directing the officers to follow the NTCA guidelines for tranquilising and trapping stray tigers. The tigress had strayed from Pilibhit, and had turned a man-eater before it was killed. The tiger in Rahmankhera, so far, hasn't ventured into human settlements. Besides, it has also not attacked any human. The patch of forest in Rahmankhera, where tiger is localised, has three villages in close proximity. These villages are Ulrapur, Dugauli and Meethenagar. "Three days back, when the tiger killed a bullock, forest officers again tampered with the kill," said wildlife enthusiast Kaushlendra Singh. Meanwhile, the wildlife enthusiasts plan hold discussions with the department on the ways to save the big cat.

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