Poacher confesses of killing tigress, say police

The big cat went missing since this February
Last Updated 28 October 2018, 18:32 IST

Almost seven months after a tigress reportedly went missing from the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR), Rajasthan Police has claimed that a reported poacher has confessed that he killed a tigress at the reserve this February.

Tiger ST-5 was among the first batch of big cats that were relocated to STR from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in 2010 owing to the dwindling tiger population in Sariska.

According to the Alwar police, a reported poacher identified as 30-year-old Sarfuddin has admitted to have shot dead the tigress, ST-5, and selling her skin for Rs 1.5 lakh.

Police arrested Sarfuddin, who also reportedly said that four others were involved in the act.

Moreover, in a statement issued by the forest department, Sarfuddin also confessed to poaching sambhars and nilgais from the areas under the Sariska Tiger Project.

However, senior officials said that the death of ST-5 is not confirmed yet and Sarfuddin’s claims are being investigated.

Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden G V Reddy told DH, “We are investigating his claims and the alleged death of ST-5 can only be confirmed once we receive more evidence".

The tigress had gone missing in February and forest officials were unable to trace it. It was last sighted on February 24.

Earlier this year, ST-11 was found dead, after being caught in a barbed wire fence, which was a trap laid by the poachers.

According to wildlife experts two cases poaching have been recorded from Sariska this year, which shows that the department fails in preventing tiger poaching in Sariska.

In April, suspected poachers poisoned two tiger cubs to death in Ranthambore.

Following which Gajendra Singh Khimswar, Minister for Forest and Wildlife, had set up a committee to look into the issue.

The committee concluded that their is presence of traps in Sariska and Ranthambore.

The STR is spread across 1,281 sq km area which is divided into six ranges and is home to 17 tigers.

According to the latest data, Rajasthan is home to 81 tigers and STR is home to 15 tigers including four male, nine female and two cubs.

(Published 28 October 2018, 13:21 IST)

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