Sharp-shooter Nawab called back, joins search operation for T1 tigress

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Oct 2018 09:30:38


By Ramesh Marulkar,


Padma Shri Dr Prakash Amte against killing the tigress

Left with no other option, Forest Department called back national-level sharp shooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from Hyderabad to lead the ongoing operation to tranquilise the menacing T1 tigress in Pandharkawda Forest Division in Yavatmal district.

When contacted, a forest officer, on the condition of anonymity, informed ‘The Hitavada’ that Nawab joined the operation on Sunday and surveyed the field in an attempt to locate the animal. The beast killed 13 persons from Pandharkawda and Ralegaon tehsils in last two years. The department had launched the tranquilising operation after January 29, 2018 and then full-fledged search from September 12 after the verdict by the Supreme Court.
However, despite deploying around 200 persons in the operation and 5 elephants, the teams could not get even a glimpse of the problem tigress so far.

Meanwhile, the operation took a twist when ‘Gajraj’ an elephant brought from Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, broke the iron chain tied with at the base camp on Wednesday and went berserk. The jumbo killed a woman, grievously injured an elderly person, damaged huts, toilets, boards, crops and ran amok on Nagpur-Hyderabad Highway. Nawab was called previously after launching of the full-fledged operation on September 12. He headed the teams for a couple of days and then went on leave on September 20 on account of muhurram.

In view of widespread criticism by wildlife lovers and media against Nawab being a sharp-shooter, was kept out of the tranquilising operation till now. Two veterinarians from Madhya Pradesh Dr Akhilesh Mishra and Dr Sandeep Agrawal left the operation due to reported high-handedness of Nawab during the operation. Two new doctors, also from MP, joined in but without getting any success they also left the operation.

Following incident of the elephant, the department held a meeting at Umari Rest House on October 3 at night in which it was decided to again invite Nawab for the job. Even after considering the plea of wildlifers, the department, having limitations, felt that there was no solution in sight and why not take benefits of the expertise of Nawab.  Shooting the big cat is last option for the department. Therefore, the department called back Nawab to tranquilise the problem tigress.

Problem tigress kills another bait

After killing a horse kept as a bait in Aajni two days ago, the problem T1 tigress has again killed another horse in the same area on Saturday morning. The tigress appears to be cleverer than the teams because also she made her good escape yet again. The baits are kept to attract the problem animal with forestmen keeping watch on it to exploit the situation. It is surprising as to how nobody could get a hint about the beast making another kill?

Reliable sources informed ‘The Hitavada’ that the veterinarians are now hiding on a ‘machhan’ (heightened wooden platform) nearby the spot while some forestmen are hiding on trees, waiting for an opportunity to divert the tigress towards the machhan.
A team of veterinary doctors, including Ravikant Khobragade, Chetan and Ankush, is working in the combing and tranquilising operation.

Dr Amte against killing T1 tigress

Padma Shri Dr Prakash Amte, founder of Lok Biradari Amte, Hemalkasa, and prominent social activist, strongly opposed killing of T1 menacing tigress in Pandharkawda Forest Division. In fact, there is a need to strike a balance between nature, wildlife and human beings, especially, when the cases of man-animal conflict are on the rise. The Forest Department and wildlifers celebrate Wildlife Week from October 1 to 7 and the main intention behind it is to protect and conserve wild animals, he said.

Amte also said that no wild animal attacked human being on its own but the people encroached their habitat. Animals have no option but to venture in human settlements and kill domestic animals. It is not difficult to find out a problem animal with the help of modern gadgets. He feels that the best way is to tranquilise this tigress and shift her to a suitable place.