Tigress airlifted to Panna Tiger Reserve

March 9th, 2009 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, March 9 (IANS) A tigress from the Kanha National Park was airlifted Monday to the Panna Tiger Reserve in eastern Madhya Pradesh so as to increase the feline numbers in the reserve.
The tigress taken by an Indian Air Force helicopter to the reserve spread in an area of 542 sq km in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh Monday afternoon, forest officials said.

The tigress, aged between three to four years and weighing 130 kg, was tranquilized by veterinary doctors.

“All precautions were taken to take the tigress to Panna located at a distance of around 250 km from Kanha,” Chief Conservator of Forests H.S. Pabla, who supervised the entire shifting operation, told IANS.

Forest officials from Madhya Pradesh took on the exercise of shifting the feline from Kanha Tiger Reserve following reports of dwindling tiger population in the Panna reserve, forest department sources said.

Initially, the plan was to airlift the tigress Sunday but it could not materialize as the tigress could not be tranquilised despite efforts by the forest department team.

“The tigress was spotted but could not be tranquilised and in the process, the big cat disappeared into dense forest”, a forest official said.

The airlifting operation is the first of its kind in the state.

Last week a tigress was shifted to Panna from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. An NGO in New Delhi claimed that apart from the two tigresses there are no other tigers in the reserve, while forest officials claim that there is a tiger in the reserve.

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