Thursday, 21 May 2015

NEWSLINK: Rajasthan launches inquiry into tiger attacks after activists campaign to keep 'man-eating' big cat in Ranthambhore

The stage seems to be set for a fair trial for Ranthambhore’s tiger T-24. The state government has deferred the decision to shift T-24, popularly known as Ustaad, to a zoo or a park, after strong protests by conservationists and experts.

Ustaad was allegedly the tiger that killed forest guard Rampal Saini on Friday. 

Rajasthan Minister of State for Forests Raj Kumar Rinwa told wildlife activist representatives on Wednesday night that a thorough inquiry would be set up to probe the causes that led to Friday’s incident, before taking a final decision on shifting the wild cat, tiger expert Dhirendra Godha told Mail Today.

Sunayan Sharma, who is the president of the Sariska Tiger Foundation and led a delegation of tiger activists to submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje two days ago, was also present during the meeting with the minister.
Mail Today reported the demand for a fair trial on Wednesday. 

The government has decided to constitute a committee of experts to look into various aspects that led to Ustaad’s aggressive behaviour, Rinwa told Mail Today on Thursday. 

The committee would be formed after consulting Raje, who is expected to return from New Delhi on Friday, he added. 
“The reserve is the big cat’s home and it is the tiger’s birthright to live there. People must understand that it is not advisable to disturb animals in their home by going close to them,” Rinwa said. 

They termed Saini’s death as an unfortunate incident. 

A dwindling prey base in the reserve — especially Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary — on either side of the Ranthambore National Park had impacted the tiger territories. 

Tigers were not venturing outside the Ranthambore National Park, making the area densely populated. 

Experts also stressed that mining activities in the vicinity apart from the presence of villages had fuelled the man-animal conflict in the region. 

In the second incident of man-animal conflict within a week in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, a tiger - suspected to be a female, coded T-30 - attacked and injured two villagers in the Khandar area of the reserve on Thursday morning at around 6am. 

The two injured - Satish Meena, 35, and Kuldeep Swami, 25, - were immediately taken to the Sawai Madhopur’s general hospital. 

Meena was referred to Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in view of his critical condition due to a head injury and excessive bleeding. 

Swami said that both were walking in the forest when all of a sudden two tigers appeared before them and one of the big cats attacked them. 

Ground staff of the reserve maintained that the attacker could be the tigress, coded T-30, who was seen roaming in the area with her two cubs. 

Minister of State for Forests Raj Kumar Rinwa told Mail Today that as per briefing from the officials, the big cat was hiding behind the bushes. 

As soon as the villagers came to know about the tiger’s presence they started assembling to catch a glimpse of the animal. 

Despite a warning, the crowd swelled and the tiger emerged from behind the bushes to attack the two victims, he added.

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