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Forest Dept to keep watch on water holes

The Pioneer, New Delhi, 3rd June, 2013

Following the death of three tigers within a week in the Corbett tiger park, the Forest department has decided to check the water holes for poison. The possibility of humans causing the death of the animals is strong as the deaths occurred in proximity of human settlements.

On May 27, the body of a tiger was found at a water hole in Dhela range of Corbett tiger reserve. Another body, about five days old, was found on May 29 at Ampokhra range of Terai west forest division which was followed by the discovery of a tiger carcass, about 10 days old, at Fato range of Terai west division on June 1.

Following the discoveries, the Forest department has decided to check the water for poison to ascertain whether the deaths were caused by humans.

While wildlife activists are pointing at the lack of effective patrolling by the department, the main Opposition BJP has sought a full time minister for the Environment and Forest department.

BJP State spokesman and former vice chairman of the State Forest and Environment Advisory Committee, Anil Baluni said the Chief Minister who heads the forest and wildlife portfolio should resign from this post and allocate the department to a minister who can work full time on it.

“The CM has not called a single meeting to discuss measures needed to tackle the alarming big cat fatalities nor has he expressed concern at the situation. He is unable to give time to this department so he should give it to someone who can give time and direct the necessary measures needed to handle the situation because the tiger-rich Corbett tiger landscape is becoming a graveyard for tigers,” he said.