Handling 5-year-old tiger death raises questions on Karnataka Forest Department: Activists

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Wildlife activists on Saturday in Karnataka accused the Forest Department of botching up the entire handling of a five-year-old male injured tigers death that occurred in Bandipur National park on Friday.

Taking to Facebook, wildlife activist Joseph Hoover of United Conservation Movement has questioned as to why two darts were fired at an injured and emaciated tiger.

He said that the authorities justified their decision on the grounds that the tiger was weak and emaciated and hence the strength of the first dosage was reduced. “As the tiger could not be tranquillised with the first dose, another dart was shot,” Hoover claimed in his post.

Hoover, who is also a member of the State Wildlife Board, said it was obvious that the wildlife veterinarian miscalculated the weight and condition of the tiger and suspected that the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s SOP was not followed.

He also alleged that the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s SOPs (standard operation procedure) were not followed in this instance.

“Was there another veterinarian assisting Dr. Vaseem Mirza who shot these dots? Was there a biologist on-ground? Why was the tiger sent to Bannerghatta rehabilitation centre (140 km) and not Koorgalli (70km) when its condition was precarious?,” he lobbed these questions on his Facebook.

He also added that no doubt the tiger wouldn’t have survived. But it would have been prudent on part of the forest authorities to follow as much as possible.

On Friday, a five-year-old male tiger in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve succumbed to his injuries, days after getting into a fight. Forest officials said that the fight had left him in a serious condition.

The tiger was being shifted from Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar district to Bannerghatta Rescue Centre in Bengaluru for treatment, when he died en route, Bandipur Tiger Reserve Director S.R. Natesh had stated in a release.

–IANS

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