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Friday, May 25, 2012

Maharashtra: 'Shoot tiger poachers on sight'

Mumbai: In the backdrop of tragic killing of eight tigers in the state this year, Maharashtra government has ordered its forest guards to shoot poachers on sight in a bid to prevent hunting and killing of big cats and other wildlife animals. Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam was quoted as telling reporters, “Forest guards should not be booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers”. “The state will also send more rangers and jeeps into forests, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers,” he was quoted as saying. Maharashtra reportedly has 169 tigers and most of them inhabit three tiger reserves in Vidarbha region Illegal poaching remains a serious threat, with tiger parts sought in traditional Chinese medicine fetching high prices in the black market. However, it isn’t very certain if this measure will put a check on the monstrous activity. According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India, 14 tigers have been killed by poachers in India so far this year – one more than the total number of tigers killed in 2011.

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