Tiger electrocuted to death at a farm in Maharashtra
A tiger was found electrocuted at a farm in the district, the second such death of the striped animals reported this month Maharashtra's Vidarbha region. Notably, farmers in some places put up high voltage electric fencing around their farms to protect crops, and sometimes tigers become its victims.
A forest official said to prevent such incidents, they are planning to make farmers aware about solar fencing around their fields. In the latest case, an adult tiger was found electrocuted at a farm in Chimur range of a forest area under Chandrapur's Brahmapuri division on November 7, the official said.
An investigation in the incident is underway, Chief Conservator of Forests, Chandrapur division, Vijay Shelke said today.
Prior to this incident, a radio-collared tigress was found dead on November 3 in Chamorshi tehsil under the Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary in Gadchiroli district, with electrocution being the possible cause of death, a senior forest official had said.
The tigress had killed two persons and several animals in Armori Wadsa area in the past, after which it was captured and released in the Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary in August this year. Earlier in April, a sub-adult tiger, named Srinivas, was found electrocuted in Brahmapuri division of Chandrapur. Shelke pointed out that the deaths of these tigers occurred on farm lands and not precisely in forest areas.
"We manage only forest areas and our department with limited staff has no control over non-forested areas. Our staff is always alert but if tigers stray into farms and villages, we can hardly offer any protection," he said. "We are initiating steps to educate farmers about changing their crop patterns to minimise the destruction to their crops by herbivores, like wild boars and nilgai (blue bulls)," the official said.
"In addition, we are also planning to make the farmers aware about solar fencing and chain-linked fencing for the protection of their crops," Shelke said. Further, he said, the incidents of eletrocution of tigers could be checked when the public's perception changes about the wild animals.
Meanwhile, Chandrapur's Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve's deputy director (buffer zone), Gajendra Narwane, said the provision of solar fencing around farms may not be a complete solution in checking such incidents. "We may have to adopt a different strategy in these (man-animal) conflict-prone areas to tackle the issue and creating awareness about wildlife among the people may also be of some valuable significance," he said.