Tiger boom, 2 kills at Ranthambore put foresters in fix

Tiger boom, 2 kills at Ranthambore put foresters in fix

PTI file photo for representation.
The tiger that killed a woman near the Park on Saturday, has been tranquilised and translocated, wildlife officials said
From last few months, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve has been witnessing series of territorial fights and the gruesome incidents where two humans were mauled to death. The recent incident that took place near Goth Bihari Khandar, in which a tiger mauled to death Munni Devi, 50, has put the entire village under a pall of fear, especially after the tiger returned to the village, the very next day.
However, forest officials later tranquilised the tiger and shifted him to the interiors away from the village. The recent incident was shocking as compared to the killing of another woman on December 27. 
According to forest officials, man-tiger conflict and space crunch for the growing tiger population, are two main reasons behind the tigers turning killers. Ranthambore Park, spanning 170 km of core area with a 1,342 sq km buffer zone, is known for its large tiger population. It is home to around 44 tigers and around 19 cubs at present. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and got the status of national park in the 1980s.
"The reserve is shrinking when it comes to accommodating 63 tigers at a time. In order to create space for themselves, tigers either end up in territorial fights or stray into human habitation, as evident from the last two incidents. Earlier, we had 48 big cats, but now four have shifted to Kaleodeo National Park. We are thinking of relocating some tigers to other reserves such as Mukundra etc,” Park DFO Mukesh Saini told DH.

Real problem

Calling man-animal conflict a real problem, wildlife conservationists opine that only awareness can help to reduce such incidents.

"At present Ranthambore is witnessing highest ever number of tigers. However, territorial fights and man-animal conflicts have existed for centuries. Tigers know no boundaries but we humans do. Hence villagers need to be cautious. In the older days, villagers used to inform their visit to the forest reserve. Sudden entry into a tiger's territory could be dangerous," said Balendu Singh, Ex Hony Wildlife warden and conservationist. 

Wildlife activists also believe tourism-related activities, including day and night safari at the park, are behind the killer tiger straying into a village on the periphery. 
At present Rajasthan has 81 tigers and has lost 12 in the last seven years.