Tigers, declared as man-eaters, will now not be confined to zoos in Madhya Pradesh (MP).
The MP forest division has determined to accommodate them in particular enclosures within the buffer zones of tiger reserves, which might be developed as tiger safaris in a bid to advertise tourism, mentioned an official.
Nevertheless, the undertaking has raised concern amongst a piece of environmentalists, who really feel that such a transfer would intervene with the pure ecosystem of the tiger reserves, and will drive away some wild animals and may set off a recent spherical of man-animal battle within the surrounding areas.
The official defined that the target is to present a semi-natural habitat for man-eater tigers and in addition to spice up tourism within the state. The undertaking, estimated to value Rs 50 crore, will likely be carried out first in Pench, Bandhavgarh, and Kanha tiger reserves, and every of the enclosure will cowl between 47 and 90 hectares (ha).
Alok Kumar, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF), wildlife, MP, mentioned: “The Centre has given its approval for Kanha. Quickly, we are going to get the nod for Pench and Bandhavgarh.”
SK Mandal, a retired PCCF, wildlife, MP, who had proposed the undertaking earlier than he superannuated on July 31, mentioned: “The state forest division is not going to shift man-eating tigers to zoos such because the Nationwide Park in Bhopal. A particular tiger safari will likely be developed in tiger reserves. The choice was taken after finding out varied opposed results on tigers that had been shifted to captivity in zoos.
“All the rules of the Nationwide Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) are being adopted. Tiger safaris have been proposed close to a river and pure water our bodies. The idea is to supply a pure habitat for them, the place the animals could have entry to meals within the ecosystem and the state forest division may also feed them,” he mentioned.
“These safaris will function all year long. A particular tiger sighting will likely be facilitated for vacationers. It’s going to generate income for nationwide parks via tourism,” mentioned VS Parihar, director, Pench Tiger Reserve.
“The enclosure will likely be closed from all sides with partitions. The main focus will likely be on the safety and conservation of tigers. The cameras will likely be fitted within the enclosure to guard the animal from poachers,” he added.
In February, a re-wilding experiment on two cubs, who had been deserted by their mom, and brought care of by the forest division authorities, failed and the tigers needed to be saved in an enclosure in a zoological park, Van Vihar, in Bhopal.
“Earlier in 2015, that they had give you comparable type of undertaking, however that had failed due to poachers. It’s an excellent transfer, as efforts are on to maintain man-eater tigers in massive enclosures. Nevertheless, it could disturb the ecosystem due to sightseeing actions by vacationers. The state forest division’s precedence ought to be safety and conservation and never the promotion of tourism,” mentioned Ajay Dubey, an environmentalist.
A Jabalpur-based advocate Anshuman Singh, who’s working as a wildlife activist for the previous 15 years, mentioned, “In July 2019, the state forest division in coordination with Jabalpur Municipal Company had began a undertaking to introduce tiger safari in 40 ha in Dumna Nature Park. This was a harmful transfer, as leopards are additionally residing within the park. I moved courtroom towards it and the matter is sub-judice. My concern concerning the newest undertaking is that the state forest division will disturb different animals due to tiger safaris.”
He urged the division officers not “to neglect different animals at the price of tigers, which, understandably, are their high precedence”.