Tuesday, 12 May 2015

NEWSLINK: Tiger kills guard in Ranthambhore

In an alarming incident of rising man-animal conflict in Ranthambhore National Park (RNP) in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan a tiger killed a forest guard on Friday late evening. 

Experts say the bad management of the tiger reserve, especially the undisciplined tourist traffic, has been affecting the tigers’ behaviour and making them abnormally aggressive towards humans. 

According to reserve’s field director Y.K. Sahu, forest guard Rampal Saini, 56, posted at a barrier, was returning from routine tracking when the tiger attacked him. 

The tiger was hiding behind the bushes near Atal Sagar area, around 100 metres from the main entrance of the park.
Saini was rushed to the Sawai Madhopur Hospital where he was declared ‘brought dead’. 

Initially the forest officials asserted that the tiger involved was Sultan, coded as T-72, as the spot was close to his territory. 

But by around midnight they came to the conclusion that it was T-24, aged around eight years. 

T-24 happens to be the father of T-72 who has established his territory nearby. 

If the culprit is T-24 then Saini was his fourth victim in a row. 

His last victim was another forest guard Ghisu Singh who was killed on October 25, 2013.

Earlier T-24 killed two villagers — Ghamandi Saini on July 3, 2010 and then Ashfaq on March 9, 2012. 

This was the seventh incident of mauling or killing by various big cats of the park in the recent past, sources said. 
Rajasthan’s former principal chief conservator of forests R.N. Mehrotra maintained that of late it was noticed that there was no check on the tourist traffic. 

Over 50 petrol-driven vehicles carry around 2,000 tourists on a daily basis to the park. 

These tourists not only carry eatables with them, but unlike many other well-monitored sanctuaries, make a lot of noise as though it’s a public park.

This causes a lot of stress and irritation to the big cats. This trend had increased especially in the past 4-5 years. 

This was discernible in the increasing incidents of tiger attacks on human beings, Mehrotra asserted. 

The man-animal conflict was also caused in the Park by the problem of plenty it was facing — with around 65 tigers, including cubs. 

RNP can accommodate not more than 32 to 35 big cats. 

Moreover, the authorities have failed to increase the prey base in the reserve by developing the contiguous Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary. 

All the three sanctuaries, including the RNP, constitute the reserve’s critical tiger habitat. 

The unabated legal and illegal mining in the vicinity was adding fuel to the fire, experts pointed out. 

Meanwhile, forest minister Raj Kumar Rinwa handed over a cheque of Rs 2 lakh from the department. 

He also assured them of a compensation of Rs 20 lakh with a government job to a member of the family.

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