Trigger-happy shooter joins hunt for rogue tigress T1
Experts worried about controversial shooter Nawab Khan's role in search for Pandharkawda's maneater
Tigress T1, responsible for killing more than 10 people, continues to be on the prowl, and two elephants and an expert veterinarian from Madhya Pradesh have arrived in Yavatmal for the operation to trap and tranquillise the big cat, which will begin today.
However, what's making wildlife lovers see red is the Maharashtra Forest Department involving controversial Hyderabad-based shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan in the operation. Khan has been embroiled in several controversies because of his trigger-happy ways.
Camera trap photo of another tiger in the same vicinit
Speaking to mid-day, wildlife photographer and member of CLaW group Sarosh Lodhi said, "The PCCF has powers to give permission or appoint a private shooter to bring down a problem animal, but the decision to involve Khan sends out a wrong message. Why take help from Madhya Pradesh without giving them enough time to carry out the operation? The Maharashtra Forest Department has already brought elephants and expert veterinarian Dr Akhilesh Mishra from MP; so focus should be to use his expertise to tranquillise the tigress."
Nagpur-based Dr Jerryl Banait, who also is a wildlife lover, had approached the Supreme Court against an order issued by the forest department to shoot tigress T1. However, the apex court dismissed his petition yesterday.
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) P G Rahurkar said, "On our request, the MP forest department sent two elephants and an expert veterinarian... From tomorrow morning, the elephants will be in the field. Yes, the PCCF has also involved Nawab Shafat Ali Khan for the operation, but our main aim is to tranquillise the animal; shooting is the last option."
Controversial Hyderabad-based shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan poses with a kill
Into the wild
On December 4, 2017, mid-day had reported how the state forest department hiring Khan to kill a problem leopard in Jalgaon had upset wildlife experts and activists. In order to trap tigress T1 and her two cubs, the forest department has installed many camera traps in the area where the three are roaming. Four teams have also been formed along with a WhatsApp group, where every nugget of information on the tigress's movement is being shared.
From June 1, 2016, to August 28, 13 people have been killed in Yavatmal's man-animal conflicts. Probe and results from camera trap images have led the forest department to conclude that tigress T1 is responsible for all of these.
Total number of people tigress T1 has killed
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