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The Supreme Court today sought detailed suggestions from a lawyer-cum-animal lover, who has raised the issue of man-animal conflicts in and around tiger reserves and forests across the country, for protecting tigers, elephants and leopards. A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was told by the petitioner that 115 tigers died last year in India and according to the official figure of National Tiger Conservation Authority, the figure of death stood at 98. The counsel suggested some measures, including compulsory tagging of such animals and GPS tracking, to protect them from poaching and electrocution. "How easy is to tag a tiger," the bench asked the lawyer adding, "what is the impact of collaring a tiger, that is not known." When the petitioner raised the issue of death of elephants on railway tracks, the bench asked him to give detailed suggestions to deal with it. "It would be better if you give us the details.
You are saying 'tagging'. You give full details and let them (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) consider it," the bench said, adding that needful be done within four weeks. During the arguments, the counsel told the bench that these three animals were facing "dire situation" and several deaths have also been reported. He said tigers have died within and outside the tiger reserves in the country. The apex court had last year sought responses of the Centre and 17 states on the plea which has sought strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOP) to tackle situations arising out of man-animal conflicts in and around tiger reserves and forests. The petitioner has also sought setting up of a committee to examine unregulated activities in forest areas and tiger reserves and has referred to several incidents in which these animals have died.
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