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Healthy tigers spotted in Sathyamangalam forests

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Host to tigers: The census is expected to bolster wildlife conservation efforts. —
Host to tigers: The census is expected to bolster wildlife conservation efforts. —

Karthik Madhavan

Enthusiasts sight big cats at three places

ERODE: Wildlife enthusiasts and Forest Department officials have spotted healthy tigers in the Sathyamangalam forests.

District Forest Officer S. Ramasubramanian says the recent wildlife census in the forest division suggests the presence of about eight tigers.

Referring to a couple of wildlife enthusiasts who participated in the census, he says they sighted the big cat at three places Kodipuram, near Thalamalai and at two places in Moyar Valley.

Aside from the direct sighting, the census team has also obtained indirect evidences like pugmarks, tree bark scrapings, tiger waste, etc.

Mr. Ramasubramanian says though there have been reports that the forest division has been playing host to tigers, it was difficult to confirm. Incidentally a couple of years ago, the Department officials conducted post mortem on a two-year-old cubs body. The feline sighting comes close on the heels of the Department getting a portion of the forest division 1,450 sq.km. declared a national sanctuary.

The move is expected to bolster wildlife conservation efforts, as the sanctuary managers will get more funds and money. The Officer says the Government of India may provide permission to appoint an additional 30 anti-poaching watchers and fund setting up anti-poaching camps.

As and when the men and money come, the Department will be able to strengthen vulnerable areas.

Aside from the big cat, the census team has also noticed a healthy number of elephants. The team members spotted elephants near Hassanur, Thalavady and Bhavani Sagar.

Other animals the team noticed are black buck, four-horned antelope, sloth bear and gaur. The team, which comprised members from the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Forest College, Mettupalayam, PSG Arts and Science College, Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, Arasur Govt. School, and NGO Osai. carried out the census operation in the last week of March.

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