India

Tiger T-24’s movements observed closely

T-24 Male from Ranthambhore
T-24, Ranthambhore National Park. Photo: Himangini Rathore Hooja | Wikipedia

Dominant male tiger T-24 continued to surprise with its behaviour a day after killing assistant forest officer Gheesu Singh at the Ranthambhore National Park. The tiger went for a long walk and even jumped outside the forest boundary wall walking up to the Nahargarh Palace hotel before returning to the park once again.

The tiger’s movements are being closely monitored by special teams set up by the forest department after Gheesu Singh on Thursday was dragged by his neck by the tiger from among a group of labourers in the Kala Peela Pani area. The official was dragged for about 25 metres into the woods when the search party found the body and resorted to bursting crackers forcing the tiger to let go of the body.

“The tiger walked up to Singhdwar from its area and then went up to the booking tent. From there he took a left turn and walked through the forest to a point from where it jumped across the boundary wall, crossed the road and walked up to the Nahargarh Palace hotel. From there it re-entered the forest,” revealed Bina Kak, minister, forest and tourism.

Incidentally, the booking tent is at a point from where tourists enter the forest and hundreds of pilgrims go to Ganesh temple and the fort. Sources revealed that the area taken by T-24 is a part of its territory. “In fact, the first victim of T-24, 23-year-old Ghamandi Lal Saini, was killed by it somewhere from where the tiger on Friday jumped across the wall. His next victim 19-year-old Ashfaq Ahmed was also attacked and killed somewhere along the way where he went today,” the source said.

It is with this in mind that the forest department has closed route number 1 and another route nearby so that further confrontation can be avoided. “But it is too early to predict that something is wrong with the tiger. We are in consultation with experts from the Wildlife Institute of India and some local people. The area is also being patrolled. Putting the tiger within bars is not a healthy suggestion,” said A Choubey, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan.

However, this may eventually be resorted to what with many conservationists strongly advocating against tiger T-24 being allowed to roam freely in the park. Kak has also initiated the process of relocating at least two more tigers from the park to Sariska besides strengthening corridors between Ranthambhore, the adjoining Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and the Kailadevi sanctuary to create more space for existing tigers in Ranthambhore so that they stop going outside.

“I will ask the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) to form an expert committee soon for identifying tigers that can be picked up for relocation to Sariska. The committee may comprise experts chosen from anywhere but they should be able to justify the relocation. It is just not tiger T-24 but also tigress Bina1 that has been straying out of the forest and it is better for some of them to go away so as to create more space for others. But the choice as to which ones go has to be made by this committee,” Kak added.

Source: Times of India