20 Jun 2023

Uttar Pradesh: Are Big Cats Not Safe In State's Dudhwa Tiger Reserve? What Authorities Are Doing After Death of 4 Tigers, 1 Panther?

Bodies of two tigers and a leopard have been found in the month of June itself in Dudhwa National Park, the biggest and prestigious Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pradesh sending authorities in a tizzy.  

Earlier, dead bodies of two tigers were recovered on 21st April and 31st May from the park. Thus a total of five big cats have died since 21st April in Dudhwa that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts of UP.

Field director shifted

Wildlife enthusiasts and tiger lovers are shocked and the state government has shifted the Field Director of the National Park. Chief Forest Conservator Bareilly Lalit Verma has been entrusted with the responsibility of field director of Dudhwa.

CM asks forest minister to probe

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked Uttar Pradesh's Forest and Environment Minister Arun Kumar to investigate this whole matter.

2 year old tiger collapsed suddenly on 21 April

On April 21, the forest workers were monitoring a tiger roaming in a sugarcane field when it suddenly collapsed and died.

This incident took place in the Salempur area of the Tiger Reserve.

The age of the tiger is said to be two to two and a half years and DFO Sunderesh said the post mortem revealed that the tiger had died due to internal injuries.

It is believed that the tiger had hunted some animal, whose bone got stuck in its stomach. Due to this, there was a wound in the intestine of the tiger and due to the injury many of its organs had failed.

Carcass of tiger was found in buffer zone on 31 May

On 31 May, the carcass of a four-year-old tiger was found in the northern Nighasan range of the buffer zone of Dudhwa National Park. The then field director had told that the tiger died due to injuries sustained in a fight with another animal.

Bodies of big cats were found on June 3 and 9

On June 3, a two-year-old tigress was found in an injured condition in Rampur Dhakaiya village of Mailani range. According to officials, the nails and claws of the tigress were broken, due to which she was unable to hunt.

On June 9, the carcass of a tiger, more than 10 years old, was recovered from the core area of Mailani range of Kishanpur forest of Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur.

The postmortem of this tiger took place at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) located in Bareilly.

The report has not been made public yet, but at the time of finding the dead body, many wounds were found on the tiger's body.

According to forest officials, nails, teeth and skin of all tigers were found in perfect condition.

Leopard's body found on 12 June

Besides, the body of a leopard was found on 12 June. Gola's DFO Sanjeev Tiwari, who reached the spot on the leopard's death, said, "The death of the leopard is due to a mutual conflict, which is clear prima facie."

Dudhwa's new field director Lalit Kumar Verma told that a team had been constituted, which has collected evidence by visiting all the sites and the team is going to submit its report in the coming time.

He said that whenever possible in the dense forest, the field staff kept an eye on the tigers. Lalit Verma refused to say anything about the post-mortem of the tigers.

He said that the investigation is still going on and at present it would not be appropriate to say anything about it.

Lalit Kumar Verma said that according to the Tiger Census of 2018, there are about 82 tigers in Dudhwa, Kishanpur and Katarnia Ghat.

The area of Dudhwa, Katarnia Ghat and Kishanpur is more than 2200 square kilometers.

Regarding the leopard found dead near the forests of Pilibhit, officials say that the body of the leopard was completely intact and the post mortem report is still awaited.

In the Tiger Census of 2018, 65 tigers were found in Pilibhit.

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