In the wake of a rise in tiger killings by poachers at Tadoba Tiger reserve, Nagpur, a red alert has been sounded at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) by the forest department. According to Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of forest (CCF) and SGNP director, they have received an alert warning them of possible attempts by poachers. “The recent tiger killings in Tadoba are a serious concern, and we have received an alert. Hence we have started monitoring watering holes along with volunteers. Our forest department guards are accompanying volunteers to various watering holes inside the park. After visiting the watering holes, volunteers and our guards will keep an eye out for any traps that may have been laid by the poachers,” said Limaye.
The forest department will also click photographs of the watering holes, and the images will be sent to the concerned forest range officers and to the assistant conservator of forest (ACF). Officials will monitor the situation on a regular basis and analyse the pictures for anything amiss.
With watering bodies drying up during the summer it become essential to keep a tab on the artificial water holes, as these are the best places to entrap wild animals. Hence all listed watering holes will be monitored until monsoons arrive, which according to the weather bureau is expected by June 15.
Welcoming the move, wildlife expert Krishna Tiwari said, “The SGNP forest officers’ team is helping and guiding the volunteers and providing a wonderful opportunity to them to get contribute their bit to the conservation of wildlife. This is a really good initiative as it will help the forest department keep a strict vigil on the activities inside the park and it will also help in keeping unwanted people away from the watering holes.”