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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Four tiger cubs burnt to death in forest fire

Press Trust of India / Dehra Dun June 07, 2012, 16:11 Four tiger cubs were burnt to death in a forest fire in the jungles of Aampokhara near Hempur area of Nainital district, a top official today said. The fire broke out last evening and when the army and forest personnel reached the area to douse the blaze, they found the carcasses of three burnt tiger cubs, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) S S Sharma said, adding, another tiger cub was found alive but during treatment, it also succumbed to burn injuries. All the cubs were less than one-year-old, he added. Sharma said the forest department is making all possible efforts to check incidents of forest fires like clearance of dried pine leaves, formation of fire lines, seeking cooperation from Van Panchayats and the local residents besides setting up crew stations and regular patrolling in forest area especially in reserve forest areas. The issue of forest fires and safety of wild animals from fires also echoed in the state Assembly with Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal directing the state government to take necessary steps in this direction. Describing the issue as a serious matter, Kunjwal asked the government to make a comprehensive fire management action plan to check the incidents of forest fire. Kunjwal's directive came after BJP member Bishan Singh Chufal raised the issue. Chufal said lives of several birds and wild animals have lost in these forest fires and the state government must take serious steps to control them.

Combing operations on in Corbett Tiger Reserve

Tags: Poaching, Corbett Tiger Reserve, Dehradun Dehradun: Intensive combing operations were today carried out at the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) following the arrest of three suspected poachers. "We are continuing our combing operation for some more time," CTR Director R K Mishra said. Following the combing operation, a CTR team with the assistance of local police arrested three suspected poachers with four snares, pieces of meat, steel chains and other materials used for killing wild animals from Bijrani range on Tuesday. However, five of their accomplices managed to flee from the spot taking advantage of darkness, Mishra said. "We will continue the operation till the other poachers are also nabbed," said Mishra. He said 24-hours patrolling and combing is being done in Corbett to nab the poachers. Day and night patrolling in the reserve forest areas in Uttarakhand, including the Rajaji Park, would continue as the security of tigers is a challenge especially when the maximum density of 214 tigers have been reported from Corbett in 2012, Sharma said. Mishra said the forest department has prepared a long-term proposal of intensive patrolling in tiger areas with an estimated cost of Rs 9.80 crore. PTI

One held for smuggling tiger-skin

TNN | Jun 7, 2012, 04.20AM IST COIMBATORE: In an early morning operation, forest officials arrested a person carrying a bag with tiger skin at the Thiruvalluvar Bus Stand in the city on Wednesday. Officials suspect the skin to belong to that of a tiger cub less than a year old. Conservator of Forests, of Coimbatore Circle, VT Kandasamy told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, that officials, led by assistant conservator, R Jayaraj, had gone to the spot based on a tip off. They arrested Palanisamy(47), a resident of Kumaranthapuram in Tirupur. The estimated cost of the skin is around Rs 5 lakh, officials said. The skin will be sent to the centre for cellular and molecular biology, Hyderabad, for verification. Kandasamy said that there are around 125 to 150 tigers in the Nilgiris biosphere reserve. The government has allotted more staff and vehicles to curb the smuggling of tiger skin and poaching, he added. Despite control measures, he said many people continue to obtain and sell tiger skin because of the high demand in the international market. "Because of the high demand even fake tiger skins and being sold," he said. A special team has been formed to identify those involved in the business. Officials suspect Palanisamy to be part of a racket with international links. An official who was part of the team said that Palanisamy had got the skin from someone in Madurai.

Three poachers nabbed in Corbett Tiger Reserve

Reported by Tania Saili Bakshi, Written by Amit Chaturvedi | Updated: June 06, 2012 23:29 IST Dehradun: With more than half a dozen tigers killed in less than two weeks in the Corbett National Park, there is at last some good news. In a major breakthrough, three poachers were caught with equipment from within the reserve in a joint operation by the Uttarakhand Forest Department and the Special Task Force (STF). The poachers were caught during a search exercise. However, five of this eight-member group were able to get away. "We conducted a search operation after reports that a tiger has been killed in the Bijrani range. Three people - Ramesh Bagdi, Giniya Bagdi and Tarachand Bagdi - have been arrested. They belong to Panchkular in Haryana," said SS Sharma, the Chief Wildlife Warden. Also Read E-eye to keep a tab on tigers in Corbett Hunt on for Corbett's wounded tigress Also See 1:43 Govt declares complete silence zone around Corbett Tiger Reserve 1:58 Corbett: Tiger conservation faces issue of protected areas Mr Sharma said that these poachers were living in a rented room. Residents of Chandigarh, they all belong to the Bagdi group, a gang known for its skill in wildlife poaching. "We recovered a few traps and steel chains from them. They were living in the forest for the past 4-5 days. The Forest Department has intensified search and combing operations," he added. The 2012 tiger census reported that the park has 214 tigers. But there were also reports of sudden spurt in the poaching rate, and the department had to face flak because of its failure to stop it. So, they sounded a red alert, and heightened vigil across all the tiger reserves in the state. Heaving a sign of relief, the state Forest Department is now interrogating them to know about their network so that more such poachers can be nabbed and tigers be saved.

Cops clueless about suspected poachers gang in Tadoba

TNN | Jun 7, 2012, 01.07AM IST CHANDRAPUR: Forest department has failed to trace a suspected poachers' gang that is reported to have intruded into Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) three days ago. Forest officials have sought the help of police department to investigate the intrusion of a gang inside the tiger reserve. A formal complaint has been filed with Chimur police station asking the cops to look into the matter. A gang of 8-10 people clad in black dresses had intruded from Wamangaon side of TATR into the tiger reserve on Sunday night. The gang was seen by three forest labourers deployed at Wamangaon protection hut in reserve territory. The gang had fled deeper into the reserve jungle. Since then, patrolling, both by vehicles and on foot, has been intensified. However, TATR staffers have failed to trace the gang inside the tiger reserve. Even forest officers are clueless whether they are still inside the reserve or left the jungle. "We have searched the entire territory, but have found no trace of the gang. It is likely that it was gang of thieves which had sought shelter into the jungle. The possibility of them being poachers appears weak but we have not ruled it out," said an official. He said that they have filed a complaint with Chimur police station and sought help of police to investigate into the matter. Chimur PSO Panjabrao Madavi said a complaint about intrusion of the gang was received, but held that no offence had been registered into the matter so far. "We have received the complaint, which has been kept under investigation. We have mobilized our informers and are also checking whether there is anybody, other than protection hut labourers, who had seen the gang," he said. Madavi also pointed out flaws in the forest department's theory of intruders being gang of thieves or robbers. "Thieves are shrewd and usually their hideout is secluded. Such people could have never walked to the protection hut where they were seen by labourers. Moreover, what is point in hiding in the jungle where there is serious threat of being attacked by tigers, sloth bears and other predator?" he said. He held that possibility of gang belonging to poachers is high, still cops are investigating to find any clue about their whereabouts.