Karnataka

Tiger leaves resort, returns to forest

The tiger that had ambled into the Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) at Kabini backwaters retraced its steps back into the forests much to the relief of Forest Department authorities.

PCCF (Wildlife) P. Sridhar told The Hindu the tiger walked back into the jungle in the early hours of Monday. Its exit was tracked by the images captured in the camera traps laid in the vicinity.

The forest staff followed tracked it till it was about 2 km north of the JLR property and deep inside the jungle. The tiger — suspected to be a female, was one of three cubs of a tigress normally found near the safari zone. “The tigress had ejected the cub as it had attained sub-adult stage — a norm prevalent among tigers in the natural world,” said Mr. Sridhar. It may have strayed to the edge of the jungle in search of food and has now retraced its steps into the forests in its search for a new territory.

The tiger had sneaked into the JLR property premises located in the Antharsanthe range of the Nagarahole National Park during the weekend. A combing operation was launched and three elephants — Arjuna, Abhimanyu and Krishna — were pressed into service and camera traps laid to monitor the tiger’s movements. The rapid action team also reached the spot, while a veterinarian, equipped with tranquilizer gun, was ready in case the situation warranted darting the tiger. About 45 guests staying on the property for the weekend too were alertedand the area where the tiger was resting, was cordoned off.

Though the authorities have heaved a sigh of relief as the immediate crisis is over, the staff and the elephants will stay put to monitor the situation, said Mr. Sridhar. “We launched a fresh combing operation to ensure the big cat or any other animal is not lurking in the vegetation. “The camera traps, laid at critical points including the exit route, will remain in place so that the area can be continuously monitored,” said Mr. Sridhar.

Focus on food disposal practices by resorts

The presence of wild boars in large numbers at the edge of the forest abutting human habitation has been identified as one of the reasons for wild carnivores frequently straying out of the jungle. This in turn, has been attributed to the callous manner of disposing waste by resorts, which attracts the boars that are a prey for the carnivores.

PCCF (Wildlife) P. Sridhar said they want all resorts and hotels close to national parks to ensure proper waste disposal so as not to attract wildlife. “Wild boars are habituated to human presence to the point of being domesticated due to availability of food,” he added. This in turn attracts tigers and leopards.

The other option is to trap the wild boars and clear the area of their population by releasing them back into the jungles. But the animals are prone to return if the food supply is not cut off. The presence of boars in human landscape is widely prevalent in Bandipur where tourists tend to feed the animals or dispose off the food waste in the open drawing the animals in the process. But this was fraught with risk of increasing conflict situation posing danger to both humans and animals.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 7:02:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tiger-leaves-resort-returns-to-forest/article19994395.ece

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