Lockdown Woes: Tiger Attacks Kill 9 In Vidarbha, Proposal To Shift 50 Animals

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Nagpur: Tiger attacks during the lockdown period have killed nine people in the Chandrapur region of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha, taking the death toll to 18 this year.

Amid the rising man-tiger conflict, Maharashtra’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar has sent a proposal to the government to consider translocation of about 50 tigers — out of 160 in the Chandrapur region — to prevent human deaths.

“These tigers can be removed in a phased manner and put in other wildlife areas, rescue centres or tiger safaris. I have written to Nagpur’s Gorewada Rescue Centre to augment its capacity to have more tigers and I have also asked Chandrapur and Yavatmal Chief Conservators of Forest to explore the possibility of setting up tiger safaris,” Kakodar told The Indian Express.

The Wildlife Protection Act, however, restricts the re-location of tigers to zoos or rescue centres unless they are proven problem-animals.

The State Wildlife Board and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is the concerned authority to take a call on the proposal.

Officials are of the opinion that removing so many tigers from the region and relocating them in zoos or safaris is untenable.

“Tigers not in conflict with humans can be translocated to repopulate areas that have lost tigers, like it was done in Sariska and Panna. What the Maharashtra forest department can do is strengthen the corridors that will facilitate the tiger movement to Indravati reserve in Chhattisgarh or Kawal in Telangana,” NTCA member-secretary Anup Nayak was quoted as saying.

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