With 60 tigers, conflict ahead for Brahmapuri?

Updated: Jun 02, 2019, 07:49 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

After tigress E1 is tranquilised, Maharashtra state forest officials face the bigger picture

Forest officials and locals with the tranquilised tiger
Forest officials and locals with the tranquilised tiger

A 'problematic' tigress in the Brahmapuri forest range of Chandrapur, Nagpur, was tranquilised by the forest department on Friday. According to officials, the tigress, E 1, was roaming in the north and south area of the forest, that falls under the jurisdiction of Brahmapuri Forest Division, and was responsible for several attacks on humans. "There was a lot of pressure from villagers as she would hover dangerously close to humans settlements. The decision to tranquilise was taken in the larger public interest by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest(Wildlife). The orders were given on May 30, and tigress was taken to Gorewada zoo and tranquilised the next day." The tiger has been responsible for three human killings that took place on March 1, April 6 and April 17.

The Brahmapuri Forest Division, spread across 1,000 sq km, has 60 adult tigers outside the protected area. Kulraj Singh, deputy conservator of forest, Bramhapuri Forest Division, said there are around 16 cubs and sub adults as well. Honorary Wildlife Warden of Chandrapur, Bandu Dhotre, said, "This is the highest number of tigers outside the Protected Area. Given the rise in human population, we are bound to see an increase in incidents of human-animal conflict as there are 605 villages in the range, out of which 355 villages are very close to forest." Another factor is the dwindling prey base, which is forcing the animal to move over to farmlands.

The tigress was fitted with a radio collar by scientists from Wildlife Institute of India as a part of the long term monitoring project. This made the exercise easier. When asked if translocation of the tigers could be a solution to the problem, Dhotre said, "It is not the ultimate solution, but if some tigers are moved to an area where they are no alpha males, then it could be a good move as it will temporarily ease the pressure from Brahmapuri area."

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