16 killed by tigers in Uttar Pradesh in 10 months | india | Hindustan Times
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16 killed by tigers in Uttar Pradesh in 10 months

The increasing human-animal conflict due to shrinking habitat for wildlife has led to killing of 16 people by tigers over the past 10 months in Uttar Pradesh, wildlife officials said today.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2011 16:57 IST

The increasing human-animal conflict due to shrinking habitat for wildlife has led to killing of 16 people by tigers over the past 10 months in Uttar Pradesh, wildlife officials said on Thursday.

Attributing the deaths to "unabated human infiltration in the core wildlife areas", chief wildlife conservator B K Patnaik said: "Increase in the human population and their enhanced penetration into forests is largely responsible for the rise in this conflict that had also left 22 people wounded over the same period."

"The situation has become alarming in Katarniaghat wildlife park, where three killings had occurred over the past one week alone," he said.

With as many as 36 villages in and around Katarniaghat core forest area, human conflict had been on the rise there, Patnaik added. Katarniaghat is in Bahraich district, 130 km from Lucknow.

Ruling out the presence of any man-eater, Patnaik said: "What was worse that each of the three killings appeared to have been done by three different tigers, which speaks volumes about the rising menace."

However, other than setting up four special teams to monitor movement of the state's 110 tigers and 208 leopards in the state's three core tiger areas - Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat and Pilibhit Forest Reserve - there was precious little that the government was able to do so far.

"In addition to these four teams that were keeping a watch in each of the tiger areas, a special tranquilising team was also camping here to get into action wherever the need arises", Patnaik said.

"But let me tell you, this is much more than what we were able to do until three years back, when we were terribly short of resources as well as trained manpower," he added.

Patnaik was however of the view that much was still needed to counter the menace.

"Firstly there is need to expand the grasslands in the core forest areas so that we could enhance the availability of food for the herbivorous animals, which in turn form prey for the wild cats and secondly there is need to provide alternative sources of fuel as well as avenues of employment to tribals and other living in villages in and around the core wildlife areas," he stressed.

Claiming that measures taken by the wildlife department had brought down the incidence of poaching, Patnaik emphasised the need for better cooperation by other government departments, "who were totally indifferent to the cause of preservation of wildlife in the state".

He cited the case of the railways that had not paid any heed to repeated demand of the wildlife department for diverting some 70 km of railway track that was passing through core forest areas of the state.

"We have been writing to the rail authorities for the past 30 years but to no avail," the chief wildlife conservator lamented.