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Bihar to review measures to check human-animal conflict near tiger Reserve

The Bihar government is in a quandary on how to avoid frequent human-animal conflict around the Valmiki Tiger Reserve, where 40 of the state's 50 big cats live

Tigers and growth

Press Trust of India Patna
The Bihar government is in a quandary on how to avoid frequent human-animal conflict around the Valmiki Tiger Reserve, where 40 of the state's 50 big cats live.
The tiger population of the state jumped by over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2018, from 32 to 50. The 2022 census is yet to be completed but experts believe the numbers will go up significantly.
An official said the forest department has taken adequate and effective measures to check human-animal conflicts in and around the VTR, where a tiger was shot dead days ago after allegedly mauling nine people.
Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, principal secretary of the department, said the tiger had spread terror in the area in West Champaran district and the loss of people's lives was "extremely unfortunate".
"At the same time, there's no point in glorifying the killing of a tiger," he told PTI.
The tiger was shot dead in Bagaha on October 8 by a team of forest personnel who were brought in from Hyderabad and Patna. The order for the killing was issued as per procedure when it was established that the animal was accustomed to living in human habitation.
"We're thinking of reviewing measures that are already in place to avoid such conflicts in the future," Chaudhary said.
The official elucidated that since tigers remain in the confines of protected areas, the possibility of conflicts among the big cats apparently increases.
In that situation, he said, weaker tigers try to move out to human areas, leading to an increase in human-animal conflict.
"We'll look into this aspect also," the official said, adding a meeting would be called soon to discuss and review certain measures.
Chaudhary said there were inputs that another tiger killed four goats on Friday evening on the fringes of the VTR, which covers a total area of about 900 square kilometres.
Locals said the tiger came out from Manguraha forest range of the VTR, which is located on the foothills of the Himalayas.
The incident is also being analysed by experts, Chaudhary said.
The state government has taken several measures to protect the habitats of the big cats and conserve its population on the basis of the National Tiger Conservation Authority's guidelines, he said.
There are tigers also at the Kaimur and Pant wildlife sanctuaries and the Patna zoo, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had named the four cubs born to tigress Sarita on International Tiger Day on July 30.
The grasslands developed by the government at the VTR have resulted in an increase in the number of different wild species, including tigers, according to the official.
The grasslands help in the survival of herbivorous wild animals, which are the main prey of tigers and other carnivores thriving in any natural or reserve forests, he said.
Hundreds of cameras are installed in the VTR for observing the movement of wild animals, Chaudhary added.
Alokparna Sengupta, managing director of the Indian chapter of the Humane Society International, said tigers don't hunt humans unless they were desperate, weak or hungry.
"The state government must look into these aspects first and take other remedial steps then to check man-animal conflicts," Sengupta told PTI.
She noted that more tigers in India were being forced out into human habitation because rising mining activity was reducing their habitat, leading to a spike in deadly conflict.
Efforts should be made to find out a long-lasting solution to such conflicts, which cause a tragic loss of life on both sides, Sengupta added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 18 2022 | 9:58 AM IST

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