In a shocking incident, the mutilated body of a tiger has been found outside the Tadoba Tiger Reserve near Nagpur in Maharashtra. Poachers took away the head, paws and vital organs of the tiger, leaving behind a chopped off tail and other body parts stuffed in gunny bags dumped on a highway.
The body parts of the national animal were found yesterday at the buffer zone of the Tadoba Andhari Reserve just days after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) declared a nationwide alert. All state forest departments had been asked to heighten their patrolling and anti-poaching efforts after news of poachers targeting the tiger reserves was received.
The mutilated carcass of the tiger had missing head, paws, genitals and internal organs, such as the liver, intestines, kidneys and the heart. Only the skin and the tail of the animals were left behind found in Borda village, and in gunny bags dumped near the Chandrapur-Mul state highway.
The village lies at the buffer zone of Tadoba reserve.
Forest officers believe the poachers must have lured the tiger outside the core area through an electric trap as tigers do not usually venture so close to human settlements.
The Maharashtra government has announced a reward of Rs. 1 lakh for anyone who can give information about the poachers, but it is not certain if this can be enough to put a stop to such a kind of an incident.
“It can’t be tolerated,” said conservationist Kishor Rithe of the Satpuda Foundation, a group that does wildlife awareness campaigns in central India. He demanded that the government set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the tiger death and nab the poachers.
“You can find the poachers within a week if there’s a will,” Rithe said.
Only a couple of days earlier special intelligence team had reported that a particular gang of poachers from neighbouring state Madhya Pradesh were aiming to kill25 animals to meet a contract for tiger parts in Southeast Asian countries.
A high alert had been declared in all the 42 tiger reserves of the country and despite this, poachers successfully accomplished their set task. If the intelligence team’s news is to be believed, they might be planning to kill another tiger right this moment!
“We have asked forest authorities for 100 per cent monitoring of water holes in tiger reserves. We have taken up advertisement and an information campaign to tell locals about the situation and have promised rewards for information on poachers,” Pravin Pardeshi, the principal secretary in the state forest department, said recently in Mumbai.
But it does seem that the poachers are much more organized and equipped than the people who are trying to save the tigers.
India has already lost 32 tigers in the past four months with 14 believed to have been killed by poachers.
Tadoba’s tiger population has risen in the past year, according to foresters, from 53 last year to 69 this year but the incident just puts a question mark whether the reserve can actually be proud of its tigers for too long.
In a recent meeting of the tiger range nations held in Delhi it was clearly felt by all countries that the number one reason that was halting the increasing tiger population in all countries was poaching. India has 50 percent of the world population of tigers and therefore naturally the nation is directly in the radar of poachers who can earn upto 50000 USD selling tigers and tiger body parts.
The tiger’s death is a wake up call. Perhaps the men who kill it are much more strongly motivated than the men who attempt to save it.
Now is not the time to think on what could have been done, but take charge and save the remaining 1705 tigers from the same fate.
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