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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unseen tiger triggers jungle safari!

Source: DNA | Last Updated 04:16(14/02/12) Indore: Even as forest officials are yet to sight the tiger reported in Choral jungles by villages, the location around the forest has become a hot spot for visitors. Inquisitive animal lovers have started thronging the forest where the officials had found pug marks of the tiger. The unsolicited tourism started soon after the forest officers disclosed location of their findings while carrying out large-scale conservation efforts to save the big cat. Wildlife expert Dr Sudhir Khetawat told that the forest department should have ideally concealed exact location of the tiger. "They could have revealed information about presence of tiger but hidden where it was. This would have prevented people from visiting the jungles and disturbing the feline's territory," he suggested. However, a forest officer admitted that the department can't stop people from visiting the area. We know that movements of human beings might upset the tiger believed to be marking his territory, a senior forest officer on condition of anonymity said. In some cases, the forest department provided vehicles for VIP visitors to reach the exact spot where the evidence of tiger presence was collected. "We are bound by instructions from superiors," the forest officer said. The forest department had instructions to ensure that the tiger is preserved using all means possible. The officers were also told to prevent any kind of man-wildlife contact before the tiger settles down in the unprotected jungles. But the hype and hoopla created by the tiger sightings have led to binocular-trotting animal lovers from the city to spend weekends in nearby jungles. On how they plan to deal with a situation where they encounter the tiger in unprotected domain, the visitors had no answer. Dr Khetawat claimed that at present it is the animal lovers who are trying to locate the tiger. "Just imagine, if poachers also knew about the tiger's location in the unprotected jungles! We have lot of members from Pardhi community in the vicinity. They are infamous for tiger poaching," he added.

Forest dept to save injured wild tiger cub in Bandipur

February 14, 2012 DC Bengaluru The Forest Department will soon treat an ailing wild tiger cub inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The cub, aged little over a year, was sighted three days ago inside Bandipur game area with serious injuries. The department staff on a safari vehicle saw the cub and informed the higher-ups. On tracking the cub, the officials found out that it has been living its two siblings and the mother. The tracking team wanted to photograph the cub to know the extent and nature of the injury. But despite searching for the family whole of Sunday, they could not sight it and the operation had to be called off. An expert team from the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) was sent to Bandipur on Monday morning. By noon, the injured tiger was sighted on Somap-ura Road inside the forest. The search team photographed the cub and is trying to analyse the nature of the injury. “The tiger cub was lying near a water pond and we could take pictures of the injuries, which might have been caused either by a deer or by a tiger outside the family. We are waiting for orders to tranquilise the cub, so that the veterinarians can treat it. Till Monday evening, the tiger remained out of veterinarians’ reach, and the rescue operation will begin on Tuesday morning,” sources told Deccan Chronicle. “The tiger will be captured and treatment procedure will be initiated. Depending on the recovery, the cub will be released back in the same area where it is normally seen with its mother and two siblings,” the sour-ces added. But wildlife expert term have been opposing the forest department move, saying it is “intervention with the nature”. “Tigers have high mortality rate and one cannot intervene in the natural cycle of carnivores, such as tigers. But sometimes on humanitarian grounds such forced interventions become inevit-able,” said tiger biologist Dr K. Ullas Karanth. There have been such interventions earlier when researchers and forest officials have treated tigers and elephants. Last year, a team from the CID Forest Cell tried to save an ailing tusker on the banks of Kabini river after the mammoth refused to eat. But it failed, and the elephant died. In 2000, a male tiger caught in a jaw trap was treated by forest officials. But the tiger could not be released back into the wild as the doctors had to amputate its forelimb. The tiger, named Maasti, is now housed at a special enclosure in the Bannerghatta zoo.