Red alert in Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve during the festive season

January 2nd, 2008 - 1:53 pm ICT by admin  

Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand), Jan 2 (ANI): Forest officials have started a special vigil in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve to protect animals from being poached during the festival season at Uttarakhand.

A red alert has been sounded as poachers tend to take advantage due to heightened tourist activity.

“On New Year, lots of people come here and it becomes imperative to keep a strict watch over suspicious characters as well who might enter the park in the guise of tourists. Security is hence beefed up in the park,” said Parag Madhukar, Deputy Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve.

The forest official are leaving no stone unturned and they have increased vigilance and patrolling in the area. They are checking every vehicle that passes through the forest area and patrolling is going on round the clock.

“The three-four days before and after the new year are taken as high alert days. We maintain a strict vigil on the sensitive spots in the park. We are getting a lot of cooperation from the villagers and with their help we will take care to prevent any untoward incident,” said Parag.

Wildlife experts say an estimated 1,500 tigers have been poached in India in the past decade. In the last year alone, there have been around 100 cases of tiger poaching.

A century ago, there were some 40,000 tigers in India . Now, officials estimate put the number of tigers at 3,700, but some environment groups put the number at less than 2,000.

There was uproar in India after reports in March 2005 that the entire tiger population in the Sariska forest sanctuary had been wiped out by poachers, with fears that the situation might be mirrored in other reserves across the country.

Trade in tiger skin and products are illegal but poachers still operate with impunity because a single animal can fetch up to 50,000 dollar in the international market.

Organs, teeth, bones and penises fetch high prices in China and south East Asian nations, where they are used in ancient medicines. (ANI)

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