Two young tiger cubs were found dead near Ranthambhor National Park on Sunday morning. The most probable cause of death looks like poisoning by villagers.
If you have been watching TV or traveling around recently, chances are you must have seen an ad showing that just 1411 tigers are left in India. The ad calls for tiger conservation, while also aiming to increase knowledge among humans about how bleak the situation is. But is the ad targeting the right audience? Apparently they are not, if you consider the killing of two tiger cubs near Ranthambhor National Park.
About six tigers strayed away from the reserve a few weeks back, and in absence of any viable tracking methods, the forest department has still been searching for the missing tigers. The two tiger cubs found dead today, both about 24 months old, are believed to be a part of that missing group. The other 4 tigers are still missing. They are assumed to be in the Kota-Baran area or near the Bund Baretha in Bharatpur-Dholpur districts.
Poisoning of the tigers by humans is fairly evident with the fact that toger vomits have been found fairly near to the dead bodies. Also, two dead goats, which may have been used as bait, has been found. One half eaten goat was found lying at the ground while the other hung from a tree. Illiterate villagers are often wary of tigers roaming near their homes or farms as tigers are known to attack their cattle. In absence of a clear set of guidelines and mistrust in local police or forest officials, the villagers generally try and find the solution themselves, and as can be seen now, the consequences could be devastating for an already dwindling tiger population.
Some believe that the real reason behind tigers moving out is overcrowding at the Ranthambhor National Park. They believe a solution is to shift the excess population to Sariska Tiger Reserve. However, politics and Govt apathy has seen the decision for this getting delayed. Meanwhile, 4 tigers have already lost their lives here in the past 2 years.
One just hopes the other 4 tigers are found safely and returned back to their homes.
Related Read: Tigers endangered even in Reserves