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Wildlife officials rescue tiger from mob in Nagpur



The Indian Express, Nagpur, 7th March, 2013

A week after a tiger that strayed into human inhabitation became target of a restive crowd in Bhivapur tahsil of Nagpur, another sub-adult male tiger was encircled by villagers on Wednesday near Ashta village in Chandrapur district.

However, it managed to escape unhurt.
The village lies on the periphery of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The villagers noticed the tiger in a dry nullah close to the village at around 9:30 am. They soon gathered and started throwing stones. Running for cover, the tiger got closer to the village. The crowd soon swelled and they started attacking the animal.

Harshavardhan Dhanwatey of Tiger Research and Conservation Trust (TRACT), who was passing by, stopped and tried to mollify the crowd. "They were in no mood to listen. I called my team of volunteers and informed the officials, who arrived with staff some time later. It was very difficult to control the mob bent on attacking the tiger," Dhanwatey told The Indian Express.

Two squads of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF), Rapid Response Unit (RRU), a veterinary doctor, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), TATR Core, Sujay Dodal, DFO, TATR Buffer, Kalyan Kumar and ACF Arun Tikhe along with other officials rushed to the spot.
It was then decided to tranquilise the animal move it into the forest. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) S W H Naqvi issued the orders and ACF Girish Vasishtha was sent to the spot to tranquilise.

"Villagers, however, continued to chase the tiger. Finally, it hid inside a thicket. When darts were fired, it got up and started walking towards the forest. People again chased it, so it hid inside a wheat field. Later, it came out and leaped into the forest," said Chandrapur honorary wildlife warden and tiger activist Bandu Dhotre. "An STPF guard received minor injury in the melee," Dodal said.

Poacher gang nabbed in Melghat Forest officials have nabbed a six-member team of poachers in Melghat. The arrested include Ajit Rajgond, considered to be one of most notorious tiger poachers. They have admitted to killing a tiger in Melghat two months ago. They also led the officials to a spot in Dhakna range of Melghat Tiger Reserve from where they recovered a few tiger parts. A tiger trap and a knife were also recovered from the poachers.