More than one wild tiger roams BNP, confirm officials

More than one wild tiger roams BNP, confirm officials

Forest department officials’ speculation that there is more than one wild tiger in the Bannergahtta National Park (BNP) has been proved true.

Officials, who went in search of the leopard which escaped from the BBP rescue centre earlier this month, sighted wild tigers. Several camera traps and pug marks reveal that there are two male tigers roaming the BNP safari and rescue centre area in search of mates.

While this is good news for the Forest department, it is also a matter of worry because the BNP is the closest forest patch to Bengaluru city. The park area is surrounded by heavy vehicular movement. The BNP and the zoo share a common boundary. While the zoo receives many visitors daily, cattle grazing around the tribal colonies on the fringes of BNP is also common.

BNP Director Sunil Panwar told Deccan Herald that there are at least two tigers inside the park. This is good as it shows that the forest patch is conducive for tigers and has sufficient prey density for the carnivores. The area is well-connected to Tamil Nadu and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, which has made it easy for the animals to move.

He did not rule out the possibility of more than two tigers moving through the BNP to neighbouring forest patches as the corridors are undisturbed. There is a sufficient prey base for leopards and tigers to survive here. 

The forest patch is home to a large number of spotted deer, sambhar deer, wild boar, Neelgai and other prey.

Panwar said the department is working to ensure that there is no man-animal conflict and people do not panic or create problems because of the presence of more than one tiger. Some BBP safari visitors have sighted one of the wild tigers twice. 

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