IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue V

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue V

Bandhavgarh: In Danger
In my previous newsletter (Vol.1 Issue V), I had written about Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. I had never expected that I would be following it up with some sad news. The previous discussions on Bandhavgarh can be found by clicking on this link:

Tiger Cub mowed down by Tourist Vehicle:

Incredible news! Unfortunately, it happens only in India.

Last year a tiger was mowed down in Corbett, and this year it has happened in Bandhavgarh.

On April 21st a six month old cub of Chakradhara Tigress, apparently frightened by the noisy tourist vehicles hid itself under the gypsy of one Satyendra Tiwari, a tour operator. Eye witnesses reported that instead of waiting for the cub to come out he started the gypsy despite warnings by other tourists and drivers. As is expected in such situations, the cub was badly injured and died a few days later. It is said that he moved the vehicle to give his client, a reputed foreign photographer a chance to shoot some more shots. The drivers and guides testified in support of him in the court and denied that such an incident ever happened. Though he was arrested, he came out on bail due to such fabricated witnesses and also due to the concocted stories and photographs of the foreign photographer in the vehicle. The forest department official was present during this incident and one tourist also testified to give a true account. You can read further details of this incident by clicking on this link:

This incident tells us that we wildlife photographers can go to any extent to get a photo. It also reflects badly on our legal system, as witnesses are manipulated. It is more important because its shows that the clout of the tour operator and his foreign client can easily manipulate the system. Don’t we have the capability to treat our wild tigers? In a few months, this incident would be forgotten. Does anyone care?

Tigress Poisoned:

The Banbehi tigress who has successfully raised several litters to adulthood has died. On 3rd May she was found to be vomiting and having froth on her mouth. She had killed cattle and most likely the cattle kill had been poisoned by the villagers. In these cases, pesticides are normally used. Though tourist vehicles reported this incident to the forest department but no action was taken to monitor the health of the tigress and treat her. She died four days later. Her three cubs are about 15 month’s old. It would be a tough task for the cubs to survive. They are yet to learn hunting techniques completely from the mother are not big enough to hunt. Tigers hunt by breaking the neck of animals where as leopards and lions choke their prey. It takes more time to master this technique of dislocating the neck. They will take to scavenging for survival but their future doesn’t look rosy. Further details about this incident can be read in this link:

Bandhavgarh has been losing tigers at rapid intervals. One adolescent tiger (the male cub of Sidhababa tigress) was declared as man-eater and sent to zoo last year. He killed a wood cutter lady who had entered into the park illegally and the Park officials had wanted to send the male cub as well as its sibling and mother to the Zoo. Due to protests it was not done immediately. After six months a man was killed 30 kilometers away in the area of another tiger while trying to ward away a tiger with a stick. Immediately, the Park authorities captured the male cub of Sidhababa tigress and sent it to Bhopal Zoo. Then the Bhitari bah tigress was sent to Panna without even informing the National Tiger Conservation Authority (check this link ). And now comes the twin tiger deaths within a fortnight. The sole focus of Bandhavgarh National Park authorities is on tourism and not on the tigers. Bandhavgarh needs to be relieved from the clutches of the officials whose only interest is tourism and the focus needs to be brought back on the tiger.

We need your help in saving Bandhavgarh. Please shoot an email to the following urging them to take action:
To, The Hon’ble Prime Minister

To, Shri Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister of MP

To, The Secretary, MoEF, Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests,
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, ND-110003

To, The Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Annexe No. 5, Bikaner House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi – 110011
Fax: 011-23387691, 23384428

Highlights of IndiaWilds forums:
IndiaWilds has successfully completed five months. There are more articles, photographs, opinions and comments. Here’s a small sample to tickle your taste buds.

Short-toed Snake eagle by AB Apana

White-belied Sea Eagle by Kiran Ghadge

Backlit Pied Kingfisher by Aditya Panda

Kanha National Park landscape by Kiran Ghadge

Spider by AB Apana

Who’s Who:
Members are requested to introduce themselves with their photograph in the Who’s who section. This will help us recognise each other in the field. The link to this forum is as follows:

Look forward to your feedback and your action in preserving the last tracts of wilderness and wildlife left in this beautiful country.

Sabyasachi Patra

(circulated on May 2009)

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