Tiger Deaths and Disappearances Spark Outrage in India’s Kagaznagar Division
In a week fraught with conservation concerns, the Kumurambheem Asifabad district in the Kagaznagar division, India, has reported the death of two tigers with two more feared dead. Although full details have yet to be disclosed, early examinations suggest foul play may have led to these tragic fatalities.
Discovery of Tiger Carcass Raises Concerns
On a recent Monday, a distressing sight awaited forest officials in the Daregaon forest area. The body of a male tiger, estimated to be 5-6 years old, was found near a local stream. The tiger was found with snares around its neck and head, hinting at a grim possibility of human involvement in its demise.
Notable officials, including the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), RM Dobriyal, PCCF (Wildlife) MC Paragein, a team from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), and veterinary doctors from Hyderabad, were present at the site. A suspected case of poisoning led to the sending of samples to a forensics lab for a more in-depth investigation.
Local Authorities Step Up Efforts in Investigation
In response to the unsettling discovery, local authorities have ramped up efforts to apprehend those responsible. A formal complaint led to the registration of a case at the Kagaznagar police station.
Meanwhile, another tragedy unfolded on January 6th when a one-and-a-half-year-old female tiger succumbed to injuries from a territorial conflict. Another tiger, involved in the same altercation, has since disappeared. Monitoring teams have been deployed to track its pugmarks in Malini, Sarkapelli, Daregaon, and other forest areas nearby.
Forest Officials Under Fire
Sources reveal that the residents of Daregaon had previously alerted forest officials about increased tiger movements and cattle killings. However, the residents claimed that their concerns were met with apathy, with the forest staff allegedly failing to monitor the tiger’s movements.
Further criticism has been levelled at the forest department for its supposed attempts to keep tigers away from residential areas, allegedly leading to the tiger deaths. Ranger-level officers are accused of neglecting their duties, pressuring beat and section officers during inspections, and some have been implicated in smuggling teak wood, allegedly with local leaders’ support.
Internal inquiries have exposed a worrying trend of neglect within the department, with staff members allegedly supporting teak wood smugglers, overlooking potential poaching activities in villages, and failing to uphold legal procedures. Furthermore, some staff members are reportedly involved in conducting contractual work without adhering to the proper tender norms.
These incidents underscore the urgent need for stricter wildlife protection measures and increased vigilance against illegal activities to ensure the survival of India’s majestic tiger population..