First tiger ready to shift from Ranthambore to Sariska

June 26th, 2008 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) A Royal Bengal tiger in Rajasthan’s Ranthambore national park is all set to move to his new home in Sariska reserve. Experts are making last-minute preparation for the journey this week. The government has planned to reintroduce tigers in Sariska after poaching slaughtered them out of existence in the reserve some three years ago.

According to the plan, three tigers - two males and a female - would be moved in phases from Ranthambore National Park to Sariska tiger reserve.

“In the first phase, a male tiger will be moved by June 30, while a second tiger is to follow on a later date. The decision on the third tiger will be taken after that,” said park director P.S. Somashekhar.

At present, “the two male tigers in Ranthambore have been radio-collared”, a device which helps spot the animal in the wild, he said.

The government earlier said an army helicopter would be used to transport the big cats. Arial distance between the two reserves is about 200 km.

Experts say this would save the tedious four-hour road journey of some 240 km between the two sanctuaries and help avoid exposure to scorching heat - the air route would take just 45 minutes.

Ranthambore, which is one of India’s famous national parks, is a 494 sq km reserve in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district. It is home to around 34 Royal Bengal tigers. Sariska has none.

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court had earlier directed the Rajasthan government to stop the traffic on the portion of the Jaipur-Alwar highway that passes through the Sariska reserve.

The highway has been a major problem for the park managers. The passing vehicles created disturbance and threatened the animals.

A number of endangered animals, including tigers, were killed in road accidents in the past.

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