NTCA says procedure not followed in Nagarahole tranquillising case

NTCA says procedure not followed in Nagarahole tranquillising case

NTCA says procedure not followed in Nagarahole tranquillising case

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), in its report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on the death of a tigress in Antharasanthe Range of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in January, has pointed out that the standard operating procedures were not followed by the field staff of the forest department.

Though the report does not blame any official directly, it demands strict action against those guilty of violating NTCA rules and the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

The report was sent to the MoEF 10 days ago. After the Director General of Police, Forests, signs the report, it will be sent to the state government for action. A senior NTCA official, on condition of anonymity, said there are a set of procedures to be followed while darting any animal, especially a tiger, and in the report, it has been stated that they were not followed.

“The procedure states that if the animal is running into the forest patch, it should not be darted, but should be given an opportunity to escape. This was not followed. Normally, when animals are darted, they do not die as the dosage is examined before being prescribed for veterinarians to use.

“But in this case, the animal died because it was darted multiple times in the presence of a huge crowd. The shock and anxiety level was too high for the animal. Normally, while tranquillising, there should be no crowd or disturbance, but that did not seem to be the case here. Crowds were present all night during the whole operation,” he said.

He said there were many lapses and none of the procedures was followed. The advisory on precautions were not followed. “It seemed like the ground staff was in a hurry. No written orders were also issued before tranquillising the animal, which can also amount to a legal offence,” the official said.

The report has also been filed based on the detailed investigation of the ground staff and the higher-ups. The post-mortem report was also included in the report. “Normally, when there is a death of any carnivore, there is no need for an inquiry. But in this case, the MoEF had asked us to inquire, smelling foul play, and it was true,” the official said.