Shooters of a different kind will soon be on the prowl in tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh. Forest authorities have,in a unique experiment,invited tenders for exclusive filming rights of the proposed translocation of two tigresses to Panna tiger reserve.
The first tigress will be captured in Bandhavgarh and released into Panna by month-end with the successful bidder bagging the rights to film the animal being tranquilized,caged,transferred to a helicopter and released into Panna,about 200 kms away.
While the reserve will utilise the bidding fee to improve facilities in the area and retain two copies of the footage for record,the bidder will be free to use the footage as he deems fit. The filmamker will have to ensure that the filming does not interfere with the translocation. The bids will be opened on February 22.
Park director L K Chaudhary told The Indian Express,” We want to raise maximum money that will be used for improving facilities in the reserves.” He said that even if the Air Force helicopter was unavailable in the event of an unforeseen situation,the animal would be shifted by road,a four-hour journey between Bandhavgarh and Panna. The radio-collared animal will be kept in an enclosure in Panna,located in Chhatarpur district,for three four days before being released into the wild.
The second tigress will be captured,after a gap of few days,either from Bandhavgarh or Kanha. Though the authorities are hopeful of translocating the first animal by month-end they are prepared for possible delay in the project,which is already running a fortnight behind schedule.
The outcry over the decline of tigers in the park began nearly four years ago and recently drew the attention of the chief minister’s office with speculation rife that there might be just one tiger left in the reserve.