The death of a forester, Gheesu Singh, in an attack by a male tiger in Ranthambhore National Park on Thursday morning has shocked everyone, more because of the behaviour of the big cat.
Gheesu Singh was walking between two groups of labourers to repair a road when the tiger, T-24, appeared from the bushes and attacked him. “This clearly shows that the tiger has become daring. For, not only it was its fourth attack and third human kill, but also that it took on Gheesu Singh amid a crowd indicates its loss of fear of human beings,” said a Rajpal Singh, member of state wildlife board.
“T-24 has a large territory and it also rules over the area adjacent to Sawai Madhopur town. It had even gone off to Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary sometime back through areas that had human habitations. One has to monitor the tiger’s behavior carefully, else it might pose a problem,” he added. Even the forest department is not taking any chances and minister Bina Kak even hinted of moving T-24 to the proposed tiger safari enclosure in the park. The state has proposed a tiger safari on the outskirts of the park where old tigers will be housed in closed enclosure for people to watch.
Kak, in the same breath, also hinted at the speeding up of the relocation of tigers from Ranthambore to Sariska National Park in a bid to ensure more space to the existing big cats. “But before we do that, we will definitely take the opinion of experts and ensure that the right tiger is relocated,” she said. Officials of the department said that on Thursday, T-24 was refusing to let go the body of Gheesu Singh. “It was only after we burst some crackers that he left the body. A similar behaviour by the tiger was seen in his second human kill when he stood atop the body and let it go only after we burst crackers.”
He also said that the adjacent area is occupied by tigress T-39. “The tigress has a male cub and T-24 is most likely his father. Tiger’s fathers in Ranthambhore have been showing unique behaviour of protecting their cubs. Maybe this behavior is a pointer towards that. But as to how the department will manage a potentially dangerous tiger who is treading territory that is taken by hundreds of pilgrims is to be seen,” he said.
However, conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger watch felt: “In the earlier instances of alleged killing by T-24, it was merely suspected that the incidents were created by it. There was no direct evidence. Also important is the fact that these killings did not occur within a short span of time. They have been spread over a period of time.”
Source: Times of India