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14 janvier 2013 1 14 /01 /janvier /2013 05:34

15 naissances possibles supprimées après l'élimination d'une jeune tigresse. Une configuration mal étudiée du secteur l'avait poussée à devenir mangeuse d'hommes.

Source : Times of India, hier.

NAGPUR: At a time when crores of rupees are being spent to save tigers, wildlife conservationists say the shooting of a young tigress near Malda-Sonzari village, around 20-25 km from Navegaon National Park in Gondia district, is murder.

"Instead of the tiger 'burning bright', it was now 'darkness at noon'," said Nishikant Mukherjee of Tiger Center, a NGO working for conservation around Kanha. "What lessons can we learn from this stark tragedy? We must now work on how tigers could be prevented from becoming man-eaters," he said.

"It is very unfortunate to lose a tigress this way. The public sentiments were largely against this animal. But, losing a young tigress also means a loss of 15 odd tigers that she would have brought into this world," said Nitin Desai, director for Central India, Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).

"No doubt it was a difficult choice for wildlife managers. But the point to ponder is why can't the prescriptions for avoiding man-animal conflict be followed. Why can't wildlife experts be roped in to look into areas with little prey base and tiger presence," asked Desai, adding that alarm bells should have gone off right at the time when the tigress was reported in an area which had poor history of the presence of big cats.

"If the tiger that was killed was definitely the man-eater, I support the decision taken by the authorities to shoot it. Catching it and releasing it elsewhere would have simply transferred the problem to the new area. Shifting it to a zoo would have condemned it to a lifetime of captivity," says wildlife film-maker and conservationist Shekar Dattatri.

Dattari feels that in conservation hard decisions are sometimes necessary and "we should neither shy away from taking them nor condemn those who take them". "What is important in conservation is the interest of a species as a whole and not the well-being of every animal. If a confirmed man-eater is not put down, public anger will be directed towards all tigers, resulting in unnecessary ill-will that will affect tiger conservation," he said.

Poonam Dhanwatey of Tiger Research and Conservation Trust (TRACT) echoed the same feelings. "Problem animals like the Navegaon tiger or the Talodi tiger (2007) which become man-eaters have to be eliminated. All carnivores outside protected areas (PAs) should also be monitored. Local community sensitization and involvement is a must in areas where tigers and leopards are living close to human dwellings," she said.

Kishor Rithe, member of the standing committee for National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), condemned the shooting. "The tigress became a political victim. It is the failure of the people and forest department too, which was not tuned with wildlife management in territorial area. The turn of events till January 4, when the tigress claimed the fifth victim, are really sickening. The staff could not analyse whether it was a leopard or a tiger. It also exposes fake claims of patrolling in territorial areas, especially when a carnivore is moving," he said.

He also felt that the orders to shoot the tigress were issued on "unscientific basis". "The tigress was not at fault as all the victims were killed in the fragile corridor (forests). I have full sympathy with the kin of those killed by the tigress but the politicians should not have put pressure on forest officials to kill it," said Rithe.

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