Poaching of big cats goes on unabated | india | Hindustan Times
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Poaching of big cats goes on unabated

EVEN AS the tiger census is under way in the Satpura National Park, and officials claim presence of at least 40 tigers, there seems no letup in poaching of tigers and leopard. Some officials also claim there has been an increase in the number of tigers and leopards in the park.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 02:14 IST

EVEN AS the tiger census is under way in the Satpura National Park, and officials claim presence of at least 40 tigers, there seems no letup in poaching of tigers and leopard. Some officials also claim there has been an increase in the number of tigers and leopards in the park.

But it is death of the big cats that’s worrying the officers. Senior officials are still probing into the mysterious death of two leopards in Madhai and Pagara in Pachmarhi. In Madhai, the leopard was reportedly killed in June 2005, and also cremated in the jungle without any hullabaloo.

In a similar case again a leopard was killed and cremated in the jungle in Pagara, Pachmarhi. Forest employee Chote Raja Bundela, who informed the senior officials about the poaching, was allegedly under pressure and was suspended for two months for leaking the news.

Later, when the matter was investigated, the police team could find only the leopard’s nails, the other parts were missing. When senior officials were contacted they said they did not receive any complaint in this regard, and they would investigate into it if they got any information.

Finally, the question as to how many tigers actually exist in Satpura National Park still remains unanswered. The exact number of tigers, the number of missing tigers and the actual situation in the park remains a mystery till a final census figure with authentic figures is out.

Director, Satpura National Park, S S Rajput said the census work is in its first phase and all information has been sent to the lab. The census information this time would be official. He said the number of tigers in Madhai jungle area is reasonably good.

Significant steps are being taken to preserve the tigers under Project Tiger by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry. The responsibility for preparing the country’s first Tiger Atlas has been entrusted to Project Tiger.