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Villagers win accolades for saving trapped tiger

Bangalore, Dec 6, 2012, DHNS : 0:58 IST
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has appreciated the role played by residents of Nidugumba in Kodagu district who exhibited “positive conservation attitude” and saved a tigress that was snagged in the barbed wire fence of a coffee estate on December 4.

A file photo of a tigress, which was snagged in a barbed wire fence at a coffee estate in Nidugumba on December 4.Acting with responsibility, the coffee planter Sullimada Muthanna and the village community as a whole prevented any mobbing and harassing of the struggling tiger.

Instead, they contacted the forest staff of Nagarahole National Park. A team led by Field Director Basavaraj Hosmath and Deputy Director Kumar Pushkar, forest rangers, staff and veterinarians arrived swiftly and took control of the situation.

In the absence of violent mob behaviour and, with cooperation of the villagers, they safely tranquilised the big cat, untangled it from the fence and transported it to the Mysore zoo.

The exemplary restraint and positive conservation attitude of Nidugumba village community is appreciated,” eminent tiger conservationist Dr Ullas Karanth of WCS said in a press release on Thursday.

“Big cats, when caught in snares or fences struggle hard and often injure themselves. The tigress is now undergoing a close examination to assess her injuries, age and health status so that an informed decision can be made about her future,” he said.

WCS is now searching its research database of over 600 camera-trap tiger photos in Karnataka, to see if this tigress has an history of photographic capture in the region.

Dr Karanth said that this happy outcome to a conflict situation stood in stark contrast to the tragic incident in Wayanad, Kerala, on December 2, where a cornered tiger was tranquilised and then shot dead, amidst chaos created by local mobs.

Nidugumba is 1.2 km from the edge of Nagarahole National Park. Nagarahole is known to hold high densities of 10 to 12 tigers per 100 sq km and is producing a surplus of animals each year, which try to disperse as shown by the long term tiger population dynamic studies conducted by WCS, he said.

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