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Central team to probe man-animal conflicts

Incidents of man-wildlife animal conflict in Chandrapur district, particularly adjacent to famous Tadoba tiger reserves, have reached an alarming level. This rising incidents drove National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for seriously thinking to send a team to assess the situation and work out a plan to resolve conflict.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2010 16:45 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

Incidents of man-wildlife animal conflict in Chandrapur district, particularly adjacent to famous Tadoba tiger reserves, have reached an alarming level. This rising incidents drove National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for seriously thinking to send a team to assess the situation and work out a plan to resolve conflict.

The latest victim was a 60-year old woman, Tuljabai Jambhole of Shedgaon village near Chimur, adjoining Tadoba. She was killed by a tiger on Thursday when she went to nearby jungle to collect Mahua flowers.

Expressing concern, AK Joshi, the state wildlife warden, informed that a team of NTCA would visit the area soon and suggest a long-term plan to mitigate the problem. “The escalating man-animal conflict is a cause for concern,” he said and hoped that the team would come out with a suitable solution soon to resolve the problem.

There is a proposal to widen the buffer zone of Tadoba tiger reserves with a tiger corridor. “If this materialises, the conflict would come down significantly,” he added.

According to available information, as many as 61 villagers were killed by tigers in Chandrapur district since 2006. “The conflict between human and the big cats have increased in recent times. Eight villagers were killed by tigers/leopards this year alone,” admitted Dr Nand Kishore, chief conservator of forests (Wildlife)-Vidarbha region.

The man-animal conflict is emerging as a major concern for the district administration as the increasing war for space and food between men and animals has come into focus. Tigers enter villages in search of cattle. When confronted by human beings, they attack them. It had reached so alarming proportions that villagers even poisoned big cats to death in recent past. A tiger was poisoned to death by villagers in Tadoba last year.

Earlier, the forest department shot dead a full-grown tiger in Sindewahi-Nagbhid area in the district in 2007 when it mauled and killed eight villagers within a month. The tiger had created panic in the area for couple months and attacked at least 20 persons.

The NTCA team is likely to visit the troubled area next week. “NTCA member-secretary Rajesh Gopal may lead the proposed team,” Joshi further added.