Nature does not imitate hypocrisy. In an extremely unfortunate turn of events one of the most photographed tigresses, T-35 from the fabled land of Bandhavgarh has been found dead.
If Grief unites, greed divides. Jr. Kankatti is believed to have been poached (There is no official statement on this). The forest department has recovered an old carcass without the skull, skin or claws which has further fanned the theory of poaching.
While reasons galore, there is a coating of secrecy and lack of knowledge from the Forest Department that is hurting the sentiment of many wildlife lovers. What is worse is that she has left behind 3 cubs who were solely dependent on their mother who now has perished under human greed or negligence. The last sighting of Kankatti was said to be on October 4, 2017 after which she has gone missing. The cubs have been spotted couple of times and it is believed that their father T-37 was taking care of them.
However, the recent decision of putting up an enclosure in the same territory where the cubs belong has only added flame to the fire. Are we taking a decision in haste? Are we screening the natural process – only time will answer these questions
What stands true at this point is a mother who has been snatched away from her children as through every death the Tigers in our country sink an inch deeper.
Times of India has to say this:
T35 aka New Kankati — the famous tigress that had gone off the radar of Bandhavgarh Tiger (BTR) authorities — has allegedly been poached and skinned. Its skeletal remains have been found in BTR’s Tala range with her skull, hide and claws missing.
Wildlife watchers and photographers are shocked with this incident. It is a matter of shame that a tigress nursing cubs gets poached from the prime tourism zone. A friend and a wildlife Photographer Souvik Kundu (I agree with him 100%):
“Devastating news from Bandhavgarh Kankati Jr, who last season gave birth to a new litter of 3 cubs, has died under mysterious circumstances. As per news reports, evidence suggest a case of poaching. It is specially tragic as the cubs are still too young to fend for themselves and now potentially face life in captivity. Now if a tiger from tourism area of a national park can suffer poaching, one wonders about the chances of survival for individuals living in less secure habitats.”
Here is Souviks pic and story:
So the question is – Should be have the park close for monsoon? What is the role of our foot soldiers? Do they only check on tourist vehicles while on foot or bicycle or make sure there are no snares and that the Tiger is not going out of park boundary? They will, in my opinion, do a much better service to the cause if deployed at the boundary to check illegal activities and tiger movements in/out of the park.
Various data points prove (or suggest stongly) that most poaching cases happen when tourist is not allowed or have no access. All said and done, tiger needs protection – the 80:20 rule, zero access and the closure of the park is counter productive and not supporting the cause of “Save the Tiger”.Tiger needs protection and tourist is regularly providing the required intelligence to the world.
Lets save them before it sinks too deep……
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