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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tigress found dead at Ranthambore

TNN | Mar 19, 2013, 02.52 AM IST Nagarahole tiger reserve reports another tiger deathTiger found dead outside Nagarahole tiger reserveUnruly mob traumatizes tigerCelebrating Tiger PataudiWhat's stalking Sunderbans tiger? JAIPUR: A tigress T-37 was found dead in its territory (zone-9) at the Ranthambore tiger reserve on Monday. Locals said the tigress was seen in the morning by visitors but was found dead around 2.30pm. Forest officials are clueless about the reason behind the death. The tigress' body was first spotted by a guide at Pandu Kho in Kanwalji area, which is a part of zone-9. "The doctor who was immediately called to examine the body was not sure about what led to the death," said a local journalist who visited the spot. He said eye-witnesses had seen the tigress coughing during the day. "The doctor said it could be kidney or liver failure," he said. The doctor also didn't rule out the possibility of the tigress being pregnant and some complication in pregnancy causing the death. "Post-mortem will be conducted on Tuesday morning," said a forest official. Another forest official however said that it could be a revenge killing by the villagers from the adjoining areas of the reserve. "We have not found any poisonous substance in the area. However, the zone where the tigress was found dead is surrounded by villages and it happens to be a disputed area between villagers and the reserve," he said. Villagers also graze their cattle in the area. In the past one year, this is the fourth big cat death in the state. Three months ago, a tigress, yet to be identified, was found dead in Ranthambore while two tigers died in Sariska few months ago. With the recent death, the tiger population at the reserve now stands at 49. Experts said the death of T-37 is a major blow to the zone-9, a popular destination for tourists. The male tiger T-42 in the zone will now explore some other territory, which could also lead to a territorial fight. "The T-42 was the partner of the dead tigress in the zone-9 area," said Yaduvendra, president, Ranthambore Naturalists Association. The sibling of T-37 was killed by T-42 last year in a territorial fight, he said. "Death of T-37 is a major loss to the wildlife in the region where the two tigers were living," he added. He said that the death of the tigress was mysterious as she was seen a few hours before found dead.

Forester hurt in gunfight with poachers

TNN | Mar 19, 2013, 01.06 AM IST KOLKATA: Two persons - a forest guard and a boatman - were injured in a gunfight between a group of Bangladeshi poachers and the foresters at Khatuajhuri in the Sunderbans on Monday. A forest department official, while confirming the news, said that some Bangladeshi fishermen reached Khatuajhuri after crossing the heavily-guarded Raimangal river and were carrying country-made guns with them. Since Khatuajhuri is close to the border, Bangladeshis often cross over to this side of the mangroves forests for illegal fishing activities and poaching deer. "On Monday, as our forest guards approached the group of people after seeing them moving suspiciously in the forests of Khatuajhuri, the latter suddenly opened fire at our men. A forest guard and a boatman were injured. However, the gunmen managed to cross over to the Bangladeshi side," said a forest department official. While one of the injured was referred to Kolkata for treatment, another is being treated at a local hospital in the Sunderbans. Presence of Bangladeshi pirates and poachers is nothing new in the Sunderbans. Only last year, a group of Bangladeshi pirates abducted some Indian fishermen at Kendo island and demanded ransom. Earlier, there were reports of foreign pirate vessels from Bangladesh and Myanmar entering Indian waters frequently for robbery and exchange of arms and ammunitions. What has taken many conservationists by surprise is the fact that apart from the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR), BSF too has a camp at Khatuajhuri. "Then how could the gunmen manage to cross over to the Indian side?" asked a conservationist. Bangladeshi poachers' involvement was suspected in the Indian Sunderbans after the body of a 2-month-old tiger cub was found floating on Raimangal river, close to the forests of Arbesi, on June 5, last year. "Only five days after this - on June 10 - three cubs, two females and a male, and about two months old were rescued in Bangladesh. The narrow Raimangal river acts as the border between India and Bangladesh. The cubs being smuggled to Malaysia were captured in Halde Bunia forests, just across the river in Bangladesh, less than 2km from the forests on the Indian side," said sources, adding that the dead cub found here might belong to the same litter that was being smuggled to Malaysia. After the tiger poaching case at Jhila in 2008, the last official report of big cat poaching in the mangroves, foresters had suspected that some Bangladeshi deer poachers had shot the tiger in self-defence. A conservationist said that the Bangladeshi poachers are making the best use of the porous Indo-Bangla border. "Since Khatuajhuri is heavily-guarded, exchange of fire is often reported from there. At times, Bangladeshi pirates and poachers have an upper hand since they use sophisticated weapons, compared to those being used by the Indian forest guards," he added.

US woman held for trespassing in Kanha Tiger Reserve

Press Trust of India | Updated: March 18, 2013 23:59 IST Mandla: A US woman tourist was arrested for allegedly trespassing in the prohibited area of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, official sources said today. The California-based woman, identified as Eve Lynn, 50, checked into a hotel near the Kanha Tiger Reserve on the evening of March 15. The next day in wee hours she strolled into the reserve's prohibited area in Kisli Range without permission. Most Recent Cable operator killed by friends in Delhi Global PC shipments falling faster than expected: Report Also See 2:29 Wayanad's growing man-animal conflict 2:02 Tigers move out of Corbett park boundary She was spotted in the prohibited area by a forest guard who later informed his superiors about the woman's suspected activity, Kanha Tiger Reserve's Field Director J S Chouhan told reporters. The forest officials then questioned the woman and on not getting any satisfactory reply from her, they arrested her under Section 27(35) of the Wildlife Protection Act and produced her in a court yesterday. The court later released her on a personal bond with a direction that she would not leave the place and appear in the court again the next day. The American tourist later appeared in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Sheikh Saleem, who ordered her release after imposing a fine of Rs. 5,000. After completing formalities, the authorities set the woman free, officials said.