Poisoning may have killed Sariska tiger: Minister

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ALWAR - Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of the tiger in Rajasthan’s Sariska Tiger Reserve being poisoned to death early this week.

Ramesh, who visited the tiger reserve, said: There were very little injury marks on the tiger’s body so it seems that it might have died due to poisoning or a snake bite.”

“We would only know the cause of the death after we get the post mortem report, he said.

The carcass of the tiger was found Sunday by forest officials who had claimed that it died after a fight with another male tiger.

The minister said that efforts would be made to relocate the villages situated inside the reserve. Twentyeight villages, with a total population of over 10,000, are situated inside the tiger reserve.

The minister also sanctioned Rs.30 crore for the development of the reserve.

Sources in the state forest department said that one more male tiger is going to be relocated from Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur district to Sariska Reserve in the next 15-20 days.

The Sariska Tiger Reserve, originally a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state, was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978 it was declared a tiger reserve. The tiger reserve has an area of around 866 square km, and is located some 110 km from Jaipur.

A report presented in March 2005 by the Wildlife Institute of India confirmed that there were no tigers left in the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Poaching was found to be the major reason for the dwindling tiger population.

Following this, the state government decided to relocate tigers from Ranthambore to Sariska and from 2008 till now five tigers - two males and three females - have been shifted to the reserve.

Some of the wildlife found in the reserve include the leopard, jungle cat, hyena, jackal, chital, sambar, langur, wild boar, four-horned deer and several species of birds.

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