Posted by: Suhas Kumar on
Oct 03, 2017
A debate has started on tigers about which the tigers are totally unaware. The debaters belong to two schools of thoughts – there is one group that believes tigers have the same rights as a human being has – unless it is a persona non-grata or one that is drifting on the high sea. And then there is the other group that considers only human life precious and therefore they firmly believe a tiger that has killed or injured a human being as expendable without even a fair trial.
Tiger as a race is an oppressed lot, its home has been destroyed, natural prey has been usurped, and its pathways have been blocked. Lately with the government doled reservations the tiger is bouncing back, but it is not the right time for it to bounce back as outside the reservations ( that are very small in size) it finds itself in the company of humans, who over the years have become extremely insensitive and intolerant to tiger's presence around them.
Centuries of persecution by humans has ingrained a natural fear of man in tigers – especially those that restrict themselves within the safe confines of the reserves but situation has changed now. The protection afforded to them in the reserves has forced the surplus population out in the open. Tigers now inhabit scrubs and crop fields, and now they are even breeding there. The young ones born near human habitations are no more fearful of the humans. This situation often brings them face to face with men and women and accidents happen. The small-sized and weirdly designed CTH ( e.g., Bor Nawegaon- Nagzira TR) offer no space for tigers – the tigers walk three kms and they are out in the danger zone. Such tiger too may cause injury and death of human beings if threatened or harassed or if someone comes between the tiger and its prey – the village cattle. Means, one should expect tiger-human face-off on a daily basis, especially in those states where hard working foresters have toiled tirelessly to revive the tiger populations.
The scenario of intolerance against tigers clearly depicts a stark truth, India needs no more tigers and may be even those within the Tiger reserve needs to be restrained by erecting fences all along the periphery of tiger reserves and other forested area harbouring tigers. Don't waste your time on reviving corridors. Your thoughts, please.
Some Suggestions to the firest department on the Maharashtra tiger conflict-
i. Take help of the trained elephants and vets from MP to capture the hapless Brahmpuri tigress.
ii. long term actions- ‘
A . Create rapid response teams - trained in rescue and immediate medical assistance .
B. Train the villagers - how to respond to tigers in their vicinity, and also in First aid skills. Provide medical kits to EDCs and JFMCs around the Tiger reserves as well as tiger bearing sanctuaries like Umred Karhandla sanctuary. This initiative may save lives.