By Bagish K Jha
INDORE: Perhaps for the time, tigers are suspected to be present in Dewas forests in Uday Nagar and Rang Bagli ranges.
DFO Saeed Khan said on Monday they have traced the pugmarks of two tigers at two different places. "This is for the first occasion in the recent time when the presence of tiger has been reported in the region prompting us to step up vigil," he said adding that if the tigers are found, overall population figure of big cats would get a boost.
The forest official spotted the pugmarks during the census of wild animal. "From Monday we have started census of wild animal and on the very first day we spotted pugmarks," Khan said.
Khan said in the year 2013 Wildlife Institute of India had suspected presence of seven tigers in Indore-Choral-Dewas forest ranges but no evidence was found to substantiate the claim. Now the pugmarks have verified the presence of tiger in this region. "Two pugmarks were found at quite a distance from each other," said Khan. However, sex determination of the big cats would be ascertained in few days with the help of pugmarks.
In 2012-13, there were reports of cattle being killed by tiger in Choral forest range. Eight cattle were reportedly killed in the second half of 2013. Three cattle fell prey to the carnivore in Lodhia and two each in Gajinda and Umath, all under Choral forest range.
Forest official said Choral and Dewas forest range has good prey base for the tigers. The forest ranges have 33 water holes, out of which 22 have water filled in it almost till June. Besides this, a meeting between 23 van samitis from Indore, Barwah and Dewas and 16 clusters of van samitis was held last year to make villagers residing inside the forest aware about the tiger.