In a development which has brought cheer to Goa wildlife authorities, a tiger has been spotted in the state's only national park in South Goa, an official statement said on Saturday.
The statement also said that the spotting of the striped cat is a testament to healthy wildlife practices in the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park which is a popular eco-tourism haunt.
"The camera trapping has recorded presence of tigers in Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park for the first time on May 14. The tiger presence in the area indicates that level of protection, quality of wildlife habitat and wildlife management practices in the national park are of high levels," the statement said.
The statement said that the forest department staffers were trying to track down the elusive cat for over a year at the park, which is spread over 240 sq kms.
This is the second major tiger spotting in Goa. Tiger presence has already been confirmed in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in North Goa.
Despite the tiger sighting in the forests at Mhadei, the state government has dithered in setting up a tiger reserve in Goa, because the region is ringed by mining leases.
Late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Goa Assembly last year that no "final decision" had been taken on setting up a tiger reserve in the state, even though the National Tiger Conservation Authority had mooted a proposal for constitution of a tiger reserve in Goa and the adjoining Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka after the All India Tiger Estimation survey in 2014.
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