The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has sought a status report on the shifting of a 20-month-old tigress to an enclosure in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve on November 22.
The cub was killed by an adult male tiger a week later after it jumped a 12-foot fence around the enclosure.
NTCA has written to the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), based on a complaint by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey. HT has a copy of the letter.
Dubey told HT that the cub was shifted on November 22 without NTCA being informed. He alleged that the tigress was kept in a cage on that night and then released into the enclosure.
“According to the standard operating procedure set by NTCA on tigers, the officials had to inform the NTCA about shifting a wild tiger to an enclosure. I had written the letter to NTCA on November 23 about it. The same tigress was later killed according to the park officials in an attack by a male tiger who, they say, jumped a 12 feet wall,” he said.
Speaking to HT, Bandhavgarh field director Mridul Kumar Pathak said they had to shift the tigress as it was moving into human habitation in Maanpur Range of the buffer zone. “The tigress could have been killed or she could have killed a villager. So we took the decision of shifting her at the earliest and I accordingly informed the PCCF about it. That night we kept he in the cage as we couldn’t have released her into the enclosure during night-time,” he said.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, located between the Vindhyan and Satpura ranges in Umaria district, has one of the highest tiger densities in the country, with over 80 tigers. Due to this, the reserve has witnessed many incidents of man-animal conflict over the past few years.