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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tigers suffering from hunger and malnourishment

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A news paper report entitled – Five tigers stray from Sunder bans, appeared in The Hindu of 25 May 2010 says that – five tigers apparently in search of food have strayed into villages in the Sunderbans stretching across South 24 Parghanas district of West Bengal in a week.

The report shows that four different cats including an adult tigress and a five year old tiger were trapped at different places and were released in forest areas after being radio collared by forest officials. It is not clear whether these four animals trapped, radio collared and released into the habitat were out of the same five or not.

One thing which is categorically mentioned is that the tigress that walked into the trap when lured by the bate of a goat at Netidhopani was malnourished. Another tiger on some other day walked into the house of a farmer but gets trapped when villagers bolt the door from outside. Officers from the forest department come tranquilize it, put a radiocollar around its neck and release into the nearby forest. The tiger might have been in search of food. The search of food and malnourishment are principal factors that enforce tigers to stray from a forest.

Since, tigers have been reported straying from different forests, it can be easily guesses that most of the forests in India have gone bankrupt, loosing their capacities to support tigers. It can now be inferred that most of the forest ecosystems in the country have gone upset.

Through different reports coming into the atmosphere every body knows that forests in India have been under serious stress of exploitation and encroachment since long and in spite of different programmes of regeneration and compensatory forestation, such incidents are happening most frequently.

Tigers when forced to live in captivities, can die of hunger and thirst but can never stray. They can die it there is no sufficient food and water. Unlike the tigers of Nandan Kanan, the tigers of Sunderbans can stray.

The report tells that the malnourished tigress was attracted by a bait of goat and was trapped. Goats and other animals in forests are hard to find now a days. They are now in a home and that’s why some of the tigers have started looking into the houses of farmers in forest villages. Everything appears very strange. Goats under special conditions can live on leaves on the forest floor but tigers can not. Now there are leaves on the forest floor but no goat or such animals. Tigers can not eat grass. The tigers of Sunderbans were once reported eating fish and crabs (and even snakes). But tigers of some zoological parks of India cannot get even water in captivity, unless proper arrangements are made. Here are some self explanatory images to show the conditions of tigers in one of the famous reserved areas of India.These images were taken during author’s visit to Nandan Kanan Zoological Park of Orissa  by a mobile phone camera during late winter of 2010.

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Key Words: tigers, stray, Sunderbans, village, forest, captivity, tranquilize, habitat, compensatory forestation, regeneration, Nandan Kanan, Orissa

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