Centre intervenes to stall killing of ‘maneater’

Two days after The Indian Express reported Uttarakhand’s decision to execute a ‘maneater’ tiger in Corbett after it killed a woman in the tiger reserve....

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi | Published: February 11, 2009 4:24:50 pm

Two days after The Indian Express reported Uttarakhand’s decision to execute a ‘maneater’ tiger in Corbett after it killed a woman in the tiger reserve,the Centre on Tuesday intervened to stop any action to kill the tiger.

While the National Tiger Conservation Authority,the autonomous body under the Environment and Forests Ministry,has specified that only a tiger which habitually kills humans can be declared a maneater,the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand had declared a tiger in Dhikuli,Corbett,as a ‘maneater’,with orders to kill it,after it killed a woman who entered the reserve on February 4. Combing operations by forest staff to locate and kill the tiger,a Schedule One Protected Animal,had begun in the park.

“We sent a directive to Uttarakhand and Corbett on Tuesday to stall the killing of the tiger. It has not shown the symptoms of a maneater and it cannot be killed on that count,” says Rajesh Gopal,member Secretary,NTCA.

The Corbett authorities have been instructed to capture the tiger and inform local populace of the activity. “We have specified in our guidelines that there is a necessity to differentiate between a man-killer and maneater. Only a tiger which habitually kills humans can be executed for being a maneater. A killing may also be accidental. Declaring a tiger a maneater is the last step,” Gopal said.

While Uttarakhand had broken the NTCA guidelines,it also turns out that more forest rules were broken in the park. The Dhikuli tiger,park officials admitted,was disturbed by tourism activity in the area,even though Dhikuli does not fall in the tourism zone. Conservationists had slammed Uttarakhand’s decision,calling it a shortcut out of a problem.

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