By Jagdish Bhatt
Apparently appalled at the unabated poaching of tigers in the Corbett National Park and its adjoining forest areas spread in Amangarh forest range in the adjoining state of Uttar Pradesh, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) has called a special meeting in New Delhi on Dec 26 to take stock of the growing menace.
Official sources here confirmed that the recent recovery of two fresh tiger skins and other body organs from poachers recently in which twelve people were taken into custody, was an indication that tiget poaching continues unabated not only in the Corbett National park, but the adjoining forests, where the felines stray into for search of food.
They said that the Corbett National park has a very high density of tigers and it is believed that there is almost one tiger to every sq km of the Park, because of which many of the felines stray into the adjoining forests in search of food. It is these adjoining forest areas where they become more prone to being killed by the poachers, they added.
Sources said that the Corbett National Park had a fairly large strength of guards who patrol the Park area round-the-clock, but even then there had been cases where tigers had been trapped in snares and killed brutally. “However, the adjoining forests have very little wildlife wardens strength to patrol the vast areas and they are not armed, as such the tigers that have either strayed into these areas or made them their home are prone to be killed by poachers”, they claimed.
They admitted that the recent recovery of the tiger skins, which had been removed from tigers that had been barely killed a couple of days before the recovery was an indication that the poachers had become active in the adjoining forests because of the low strength of wildlife guards, and also the fact that they were not properly armed to take upon poachers.
“Besides interrogation of the arrested poachers gave a lot of insight to the modus operandii of that the poachers had adopted to make the kills and get away without being caught. It is following this information that the NCTA has decided to hold a meeting of the wild life departments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Special Task force in Delhi so that a fool proof plan can be drawn out to prevent the poaching of tigers”, they claimed.