A STATEWIDE alert against poaching has been issued after camera traps in and around the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve captured images of a tiger with a hunting snare-like wire noose coiled around its neck.
State forest department officials said the tiger, T-108, was tranquilised and the wire removed on Saturday. The department has ordered an inquiry into the issue.
“Two images from separate camera traps were seen yesterday — one was of Friday morning while the other was from the night before — which showed the tiger, T-108, with a wire tangled around its neck. It was a matter of concern. The field director contacted us to seek permission for tranquilising the tiger,” said Arijit Banerjee, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Protection) and officiating Chief Wildlife Warden, Rajasthan.
Banerjee said permission was sought from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to tranquilise the animal.
“I asked the Ranthambore field director to follow all the standard operating procedures… After tranquilisation, the wire was safely removed this morning, and the tiger has been released in the forest. We didn’t find any physical injuries on the animal. We have ordered an inquiry into the matter and have issued a statewide red alert against poaching, directing all territorial and wildlife divisions to work in congruence, patrol inside and outside of protected forest areas. All leaves have been cancelled except for emergencies,” he said.
Tikam Chand Verma, Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, said the noose was made of galvanised iron (GI) wire, around 2 mm thick.
“According to preliminary findings, it appears that it is a loose noose, probably set for animals like boars or nilgais outside the forest. But even if it was meant for other animals, it is still hunting, which is illegal. More details will emerge after the inquiry. We will inquire if there was any laxity in monitoring,” said Banerjee.
“A collaborative team of TigerWatch and the forest department found the image, which is from near Devpura area, Phalodi. It seems to be a hunting snare, even if it may not be meant for tigers but for smaller animals. The government should ensure proper monitoring,” said Dharmendra Khandal, conservation biologist, TigerWatch.