Scouting for male company for Panna's tigresses!

At Panna National Park

After much controversy, the male tiger is finally being brought to Panna, nearly 450 km from the state capital, from the nearby Bandhavgarh National Park.

"Scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, and veterinarians reached the Bandhavgarh National Park Wednesday to tranquilise and shift a male tiger to the Panna National Park," said a forest official who did not wish to be named.
"Currently the Panna National Park is home to two tigresses that were relocated to the reserve from Bandhavgarh and Kanha in March this year," the official said.
"Scientists S. Sen and K. Ramesh from the WII, besides veterinarians from the Panna National Park, are coming to Bandhavgarh to select a male tiger that would be subsequently tranquillised, fitted with a radio collar and shifted to the Panna National Park," the official said.

The relocation of the male tiger is part of the plan to reintroduce tigers in the 543-sq km Panna National Park for which the state forest department was granted permission in June.

"Though a tiger is likely to be shifted by Friday, the plan will depend on various situations like the sighting of a suitable tiger and weather conditions besides available logistics," said the official.

"The preparations have been completed for relocating the male tiger from the Bandhavgarh National Park. We were just waiting for the expert team from WII to identify the male tiger and help shift it to Panna," said R.S. Negi, the Madhya Pradesh chief wildlife warden.

The central government cleared the proposal from the Madhya Pradesh administration to shift the male tiger to the Panna sanctuary in June while maintaining that accountability would be fixed for the disappearance of the big cats from the reserve.
"Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, while giving his nod to the proposal to translocate the big cat with an aim to repopulate the endangered species in Panna, has asked the state government to strictly adhere to the tiger relocation protocol framed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) while executing the project," sources said.

The translocation of a male tiger was abruptly halted in May by the NTCA following protests from wildlife experts and NGOs who alleged that the state government was carrying out animal translocation in haste in violation of the norms as the habitat was not safe for the endangered species.

The park, which once had more than 30 tigers, was found to be devoid of the striped animal when the central government team visited the park early this year.
Two years ago the reserve, spread in the districts of Panna and Chhatarpur in eastern Madhya Pradesh, had 15 to 30 tigers, according to a WII report.

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