A radio-collared Tiger in the Sundarbans has reportedly crossed over into Bangladesh, forest officials have found. A radio collar worth around Rs 6-7 lakh was placed around the neck of the Tiger on May 21.
“This once again confirms that wild animals do not understand political boundaries and often move across the international border,” said Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR) director Pradip Vyas. Significantly, 60% of the Sundarbans falls in Bangladesh while 40% is in India.
Sources said this is one of the reasons why Union Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh has taken up the India-Bangladesh joint initiative on the Sundarbans. Tiger conservation has to be done jointly, said senior forest officials. Interestingly, the forest officials are still receiving signals from the collar and have located it somewhere in the middle of Talpatty island in Bangladesh.
The Tiger had entered into Malmelia village in North 24-Parganas and was eventually trapped in the Arbeshi jungle on May 21. It was tranquillized and radio-collared before being released in the Katuajhuri forest of the Sundarbans. The radio collar signals revealed that on the first two days, it traveled only 6-7 km. But on the third day, the Tiger traveled more than double that distance.
The signals show that a Tiger crosses its command area and moves into new territory at will, even if there is enough prey. The forest department found that there was enough prey in the Katuajhuri jungle and forest guards, who examined the terrain, found carcasses of animals devoured by the Tiger. “So, we were a bit surprised when the Tiger suddenly started moving from south to east, towards Bangladesh. This hints that a Tiger can enter due to reasons other than the lack of prey base,” an official reports.
The Tiger started closing in on Talpatty. Finally, two days ago, it moved into the Bangladesh Sundarbans.
The officials are keeping a close watch on the movements of the Tiger with the help of signals from the collar. In recent times, a Tiger and a Tigress, which had entered into Shamsernagar, were also found to have entered Indian territory from Bangladesh.