Nine tigers die at Kaziranga in three monthsFebruary 8th, 2009 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, Feb 8 (IANS) Nine big cats have died at Assam’s Kaziranga National Park in the past three months, but wildlife authorities in the state say the tigers were not victims of poachers.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, had warned about poachers on the prowl and asked for strict vigil to ensure tigers are not hunted down.
“There have been intelligence inputs that tiger killers are on the prowl,” the NTCA said.
Assam wildlife authorities confirmed the tiger deaths, although they rejected NTCA’s fears that the fatalities were due to poaching.
“Of the nine tiger deaths at Kaziranga, not a single big cat was killed by poachers. Three died of old age, one each died in cases of infighting, poisoning by local villagers, fights with buffaloes, besides three decomposed bodies found,” said Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden M.C. Malakar.
“If it would have been a case of poaching, the hunters would have taken the skin and other organs. But in all the nine deaths, the body parts of the tigers were intact,” he said.
The 430 sq km park, 220 km east of Assam’s main city Guwahati, is home to the single largest population of the one-horned rhinoceros.
As per the 2006 census figures, some 1,855 of the world’s estimated 2,700 such herbivorous beasts lumber around the wilds of Kaziranga.
Apart from being a World Heritage Site, Kaziranga is also a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger scheme.
According to a 2000 census, Kaziranga was home to about 86 Royal Bengal tigers. The Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII)’s 2008 country-wide status of tigers pegged the figure in Assam at 70.
“We strongly believe the number of tigers at Kaziranga has increased from the last count in 2000,” the wildlife warden said.
At present only 1,400 tigers are left in the country, according to a recent census conducted by WII, which has led to concern among wildlife conservation groups and the government.
- Karnataka sets up special tiger protection force - Jan 03, 2012
- Two poachers shot dead in Kaziranga - Dec 13, 2010
- E-eye to keep a tab on tigers in Corbett - Apr 23, 2012
- Fighting chance for India's tigers: Poaching declines - Feb 08, 2012
- Now dogs to the rescue of Kaziranga rhinos - Jan 22, 2012
- 'Lack of political will behind conservation woes' (With Image) - May 19, 2012
- Assam wildlife group protests removal of rhino's horn - Mar 25, 2012
- Forest guards, cops foil poaching attempt in Assam - Jun 01, 2012
- Assam floods: Park rangers work non-stop to safeguard wildlife - Jun 29, 2012
- Kaziranga boasts of world's highest tiger density - Apr 29, 2010
- One-horned rhino killed in Assam - May 23, 2012
- Two poachers killed in Kaziranga, rhino found dead (Lead) - Dec 13, 2010
- Rhino census to be held in Assam from March 15 - Feb 28, 2012
- One-horned rhino killed in Kaziranga park - Oct 28, 2010
- Commandos trained by NSG to combat poachers - Jun 25, 2010