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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Avni’s year old cub likely to have jumped fence, missing since Dec 25

Officials say T1-C1 may have jumped 10-foot fence in Yavatmal

mumbai Updated: Jan 04, 2019 08:32 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
The cub’s mother T-1, also known as Avni, was shot dead on November 2, 2018, after allegations of the tigress being a man-eater surfaced.
The cub’s mother T-1, also known as Avni, was shot dead on November 2, 2018, after allegations of the tigress being a man-eater surfaced.(HT Photo)

State forest officials said the one-year-old male cub of slain tigress T1 is missing since December 25. The development comes more than two months after forest officials commenced operations to rescue the cub, T1-C1, from the wild. Officials said they have commenced the entire rescue operation all over again.

According to authorities, T1-C1 jumped over a 10-foot high-chain link fence last week and is missing from compartment 655 near Loni village, the area in Pandharkwada forest in Yavatmal.

“The rescue teams did not see the cub escape. It has become worrisome for the officials, as the cub was not spotted within the compartment since December 25,” said AK Misra, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), state forest department.

“We found a portion of the fence towards the northern end of the compartment slightly inclined, as if an animal had pushed their way through and leaped across. Leopards are known to jump this high. But we may have underestimated the strength, agility and intelligence of this cub,” Misra added.

The chain-link fence was built from December 14 onwards to restrict the movement of the cubs T1-C1 and T1-C2, to make it easier for them to be rescued. As no cattle in the nearby villages were killed since December 25, forest officials said the presence of a large carnivore in the area is unlikely.

However, some domestic animals in the area have been found injured, Misra told HT. He added that the infighting with other tigers or animals was ruled out, and that T1-C1 was capable of fending for himself.

Read more: 51 days after T-1 was killed, Maharashtra forest department rescues her cub

“This is a huge setback for the rescue operation. However, the cub is likely to be within a 5-7 sq km radius. The rescue operation will start from scratch with 150 field staff, veterinarians and wildlife experts,” Misra said.

The cub’s mother T-1, also known as Avni, was shot dead on November 2, 2018, after allegations of the tigress being a man-eater surfaced. Her cubs, a male and a female, had to be rescued as they were too young to fend for themselves in the wild. There were also worries that if they had been fed human remains, they could also become man-eaters.

Once found, the cub is likely to be taken to the rescue Pench Tiger Reserve in Nagpur, where its sister T1-C2 is currently being kept after she was rescued on December 22.

3 detained in Film City poaching case

Forest officers have detained three people on Thursday in an alleged poaching case at Film City, Goregaon East.

Earlier this week, forest officials had found the decomposed carcasses of an adult leopard and a sambar deer trapped in two snares, near a television show set at Film City.

On Wednesday, investigating officers had found 30 active wire snares (equipment to trap wild animals) across various remote zones of Film City, giving rise to fears that the area might have become a poaching den.

“We have not arrested anyone so far but have detained three people. We cannot reveal the names of the suspects,” said Sameer Inamdar, forest officer, Mumbai range.

Meanwhile, the forest officers met the Film City administration. It was decided that a team of 10 security officers will patrol areas. Regular cleaning activities will be also be carried out across all film and television sets to ensure that wild animals do not get attracted to food waste.

Film City would have to pay a penalty of ₹25,000 per day if they do not clear the wet waste, said Jitendra Ramgaokar, deputy conservator of forest, Thane territorial wing.

“ Tribal residents across seven hamlets (padas) within Film City will get identity cards to ensure that unauthorised people do not enter the area,” said Ramgaokar.

The chief security officer of Film City, Ashok Jadhav, said the administration would abide by all the directions, including the penalty.

First Published: Jan 04, 2019 01:24 IST

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