The Gujarat government on Tuesday confirmed the presence of a tiger in Mahisagar forest range after the animal was captured in night-vision camera installed near Santrampur in Mahisagar district.
Forest officials had been on an alert after a Lunawada-based government school teacher approached them with an image of a tiger crossing a road near Boriya village of Mahisagar district on February 6. It has also been confirmed that it is the same tiger, which had gone missing from Ujjain and is now on an onward journey back from Rajasthan to Ujjain.
“It’s a male tiger and is alone. There are no traces of a female tiger or cubs along. For now, we are keeping a watch on the movement and we will let it mobilise freely in the forest range. We don’t plan to capture the wild cat. We are also sensitising villagers regarding the presence of the tiger and they should not panic if they spot the animal. One major challenge will also be poachers so we are extra alert about every unwanted person in the range area,” said Chief Conservator of Forests, Vadodara circle, SK Shrivastava.
At present, seven camera traps have been installed in the Mahisagar forest range area and around thirty foresters are patrolling in the forest range.
The last sighting of a tiger in the state was in Dangs in 1985, following which no tigers were spotted. A census of 2001 had also declared that there were no tigers in the state. Last week, a rumour also spread in Waghodia taluka of Vadodara about a tiger being spotted in the region as images and videos of the same had gone viral. However, the forest officials had denied any such sighting and discarded the claims as rumours.