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Thread: Hoteliers' lobby shift Tiger in Ranthambore

  1. #1
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    Default Hoteliers' lobby shift Tiger in Ranthambore

    Hoteliers' lobby shift Tiger in Ranthambore
    May 19, 2015, 12.00 AM IST

    JAIPUR: Ranthambore hoteliers, scared that the park's most-watched tiger may scare away guests used their clout to have T24 relocated to Udaipur zoo, and got the operation so secret that even forest minister Raj Kumar Rinwa was kept in the dark, sources told TOI on Monday. T24 was shifted on Saturday after it was suspected to have killed a forest guard the week before.

    In fact, at the time of shifting, Rinwa was in the process of forming a committee to verify whether it was T-24 or some other tiger which had attacked humans. But suddenly he was told about the futility of the exercise since T-24, popularly known as 'Ustaad', was already half way towards Udaipur zoo.

    Sources said Rinwa had requested Rajya Sabha MP VP Singh Badnore to head the committee. Badnore had reportedly recommended conservationists Valmik Thapar and Rajpal Singh Shekhawat as other members.

    According to sources, some hoteliers lobbied for the shifting to Udaipur as they feared that the presence of T24, which had its territory around Ranthambhore Park gate, could hamper their business by scaring away the tourists.

    "Hoteliers at Ranthambhore were divided. Majority was in favour of keeping the tiger at the park as it was the most sighted one," said a wildlife expert. He added that there was a dispute among the forest staff about the identity of the tiger that killed the forest guard. "Forest officials were confused between T72 and T24," the expert said and added, "However, a handful of lobbyists supporting T24's shifting were more powerful and succeeded in their design."

    Insiders said experts had suggested to chief minister Vasundhara Raje that even if T24 was attacking humans, it could be shifted to the Sariska reserve or Mukundra, a new forest zone adjacent to Ranthambore identified for tiger reserve expansion.

    "Shifting was absolutely out of the blue," said the expert. He said that even forest officials wanted to verify that T24 was habitually attacking humans before shifting it. "There have been instances of T24 attacking humans and there were indications that he had no fear of the humans anymore," he added. Experts say carnivores have a natural tendency to fear humans. "But you can't say that T24 was a man-eater as it never chased humans," the expert said.

    Congress MLA from Kumher, Vishvendra Singh, cites the example of T7, which was shifted to Sariska from Ranthambhore after it attacked a few humans, including forest ranger Daulat Singh. "T7 is now happily settled as ST6 at Sariska. Why should there be different treatment for similar incident?" Singh said and added that he sighted T7 thrice at Bharatpur, where it had strayed in 2010. "It never attacked anybody at Bharatpur," he said.

    Rinwa said the formation of the committee was subject to the approval from the CM. "Once Madam (Raje) approves, the committee will be formed and if there is a positive report, the tiger will be brought back to the wild," the minister said.

    He said that Kumbhalgarh and Mukundra forests have also been identified for expansion as tiger reserves, where T24 could be shifted if experts so recommended. "We had to shift the tiger to zoo as we realised there was fear to human lives. However, tiger sighting is a major tourist attraction in Rajasthan and we are not averse to tigers in the wild," Rinwa said.

    Thapar supports T24's caging, saying: "In my 40 years of experience of Ranthambhore tigers, T24 is the most dangerous one. He killed four people including two forest guards and two locals. The forest department and the government of Rajasthan have done a successful job in relocating a man-killing and eating tiger," said Thapar.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  2. #2

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    I got bitten twice by one of the most docile dogs we had and we had many, both the times it was my mistake. It amazing how animals get strait jacked into demi gods and devils. Anybody how has ever kept a pet dog will know that personality traits vary across animals. When these number of attacks are listed, the circumstances in which they happened never are. This animal might be dangerous and may be a man eater. But even more dangerous are these experts who come to conclusions quickly. I guess this is what too much of TV debates, international seminars and govt committees does even to people who once were hands on with the realities of the field and looked for pragmatic solutions.

    Rgds
    Roopak

  3. #3
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    No body earns money as a conservationist. The conservationist hat is often put on by tour operators/hoteliers/researchers and many other groups to further their interests. These days when man-animal conflict is increasing, it is found that these conservationists are quick to jump to side with people. One researcher who has worked with elephants and is now in the National board of wildlife has said on record that elephants found near human habitations need to be shot. Another respected researcher who has done work on tigers strongly advocates killing any tiger or leopard found to have killed a man. Now we find a conservationist who was well respected some time back and has interests in ranthambhore is quick to call for capturing of the tiger which is in doubt of killing forest guard and other people. These guys may have done good work in their own fields, unfortunately they choose to side with popular sentiment. It is admittedly tough to face adverse popular sentiment and tell them the truth lies elsewhere. Unfortunately not many of us have the strength of character to rise above petty personal interests to champion the cause of wildlife.

    As conservationists we have put our ego ahead of us, our interests ahead of conservation. No wonder we have failed to preserve our wilderness and wildlife. It is a tragedy that India's conservationists have failed its wildlife.

  4. #4
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    All wildlife lovers must be aware that Hippopotamuses are among the deadliest animals, faster than you think and capable of crushing any enemy in their path. Hippos are dangerous in every sphere of life too, where they take the form of Highest Paid Persons' Opinion. Today Valmik Thapar is playing that role, resort operator and hoteliers lobby is trying keep their interest at forefront. If one says it is right for T 24 to be send behind bars or down him with bullet, then in same way, if at all he had mauled, then T 24 was right in doing what he did when he saw the forest guard in his domain.

  5. #5
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    The Hon'ble Supreme Court has stepped in and has ordered status quo for relocation of T-24. The Supreme Court has noted that the Rajasthan High Court is hearing the matter on 28th May. Currently T-24 is at Udaipur in Sajjangarh biological park in an enclosure after being shifted from Ranthambhore.

    There is hope that the decision to shift the tiger is reversed and he is released in his rightful home in ranthambhore.

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