Tiger from Tadoba reserve killed by electric fence

Updated: Dec 11, 2018, 08:51 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Farmer on whose land body was found, held for installing non-prescribed electric fencing

The electrocuted tiger being moved by Forest Department personnel.
The electrocuted tiger being moved by Forest Department personnel.

In another instance of human-animal conflict, a radio-collared tiger from the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) was found electrocuted on Saturday. The sub-adult tiger was the offspring of legendary tigress Chotitara and tiger Matkasur. The farmer on whose farm he was found, was arrested for installing non-prescribed electric fencing.

A Forest Department official said, "The body of the sub-adult radio-collared tiger was found at 10 pm on Saturday inside a farm in Bhamdeli in the Moharli buffer zone of TATR. The post mortem reveals that the tiger was electrocuted and the farm owner has been arrested."

Tarachand, the tiger which was electrocuted, was radio-collared and monitored. Image courtesy /Shriharsh Gajbhiye
Tarachand, the tiger which was electrocuted, was radio-collared and monitored. Image courtesy /Shriharsh Gajbhiye

Activists blame scientist
Following the death of Tarachand, a section of wildlife lovers and activists are blaming scientist Bilal Habib (from the Wildlife Institute of India) who had radio-collared the tiger, and his team, for lack of monitoring.

However, Habib told mid-day that they have been doing their best to track radio-collared tigers. Habib said, "All villages have battery operated fences given by the Forest Department, yet an 11 kv current was connected to a solar-powered fence, making it more powerful at this farm. How come there is an issue in monitoring? Not a single day has gone by when this animal was not seen or tracked. The sad part is that our wildlife is governed by people who don't know anything about it."

Experts say
Wildlife conservationist and Director of The Corbett Foundation, Kedar Gore said, "Using an electric fence is a common way of killing wild boars and other herbivores to protect crops. It is also used in the case of hunting for bushmeat. This is one of the biggest threats today to tigers and other wild animals around protected areas."

Conservation photographer Sarosh Lodhi from the group Conservation, Lens and Wildlife (CLaW) said, "It is really unfortunate to see tigers being electrocuted. What is more shocking is the fact that a radio-collared tiger died in such a manner. If the team of researchers who radio-collared the tiger would have monitored its movement properly, then this incident could have been avoided. Because of radio collar the researchers get location updates and when they know that the tiger is going outside a protected area or near a village or farm, they should announce it."

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