Karnataka lost 74 elephants, 49 big cats in 20 months

Karnataka lost 74 elephants, 49 big cats in 20 months

Karnataka lost 74 elephants, 49 big cats in 20 months

In the last 20 months, the state has lost 74 elephants, 26 tigers and 23 leopards in the wild for various reasons such as poaching, termination of man-eaters and natural causes.

According to www.tigernet.nic.in, an official database of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the state has lost 11 tigers in the first eight months of this year. Of the 11 tigers, four died this month (August). Of the four deaths, one is suspected to be a case of poaching, what led to the death of the three other tigers is being ascertained.

Of the 26 tigers that died in the last 20 months, seven died of natural reasons and four in territorial fights. The Forest department had to 'terminate' a tiger in Bandipur on November 19, 2015 as it had turned man-eater, while a tiger was poached in Chikkamagaluru territorial division on April 5, 2016. The Forest department is yet to ascertain the reasons for the death of other tigers. Nagarhole and Bandipur, which have the highest density of tigers, saw maximum number of tiger deaths (20) since 2015.

However, the Forest department officials are disputing the number of tiger deaths in the state. According to a document provided by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) office, the state has lost only nine tigers, including two cubs from April 2015 to March 2016.

“It is impossible to hoodwink on the number of tiger deaths. The details we have given are based on the complete documents collected by our field officers," said Assistant Chief Conservator of Forest C Jayaram.

He said the state government follows the standard procedure set by the NTCA. He, however, refused to comment on the discrepancy in the numbers provided by the Central government agency (tigernet) and the Karnataka Forest department.  

Elephants poached
According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) office document, three elephants were poached in the state between April 2015 and March 2016. As many as eight jumbos were electrocuted and four shot dead in the same period. Seven elephants died a natural death while 52 died of ill health or other reasons which are yet to be ascertained.

The state lost four leopards in road accidents and three in territorial fights. Two were hanged by villagers and one was beaten to death. Officials had to terminate a leopard after it was declared man-eater. Thirteen leopards died of various other reasons, says the document.
DH News Service

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