Tigers return to Gorumara
In almost three decades, no tigers have been sighted in the Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal. No wonder then that in April this year, when a forest guard spotted an adult tigress and her cubs, he could hardly believe his eyes. Official reports also came in of another tigress being seen at the Apalchand Sanctuary, 20 km. from Jalpaiguri.
Over the last decade, conservation activities have improved prey base and restored connecting corridors around Apalchand, particularly its link to the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. In Gorumara, however, which had lost most of its contiguous cover with the Neora Valley National Park, the tigress, say officials, may have returned through the Bamondanga-Tondu tea garden area where a five square kilometre grassland area thrives. Gorumara’s prey base has also been doing well in recent times. Forest officials have stopped cattle grazing in Gorumara and are hoping to extend grassland cover to ensure an ideal habitat for tigers.