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Poachers kill tiger in Corbett Park
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | September 13, 2006 15:50 IST
A full-grown tiger was killed near the outer periphery of the famous and highly protected Corbett National Park in Uttaranchal on Sunday.
Disclosing this, Uttaranchal chief wildlife conservator S K Chandola told rediff.com over the telephone from Dehradun, on Wednesday, "One of the poachers ,wounded in the instantaneous retaliatory attack by the tiger, was arrested and is currently hospitalised in Kashipur."
The killing took place barely seven kilometres outside the core areas of the park, which is regarded as India's prime wildlife sanctuary.
Chandola said, "Apparently, the poachers belong to neighouring areas of the park. It seems that they were actually looking for animals like wild boar, when they encountered a tiger and decided to try their hand at killing it."
According to him, "The poachers used a country-made .315 rifle, which is not a weapon that could easily kill a powerful tiger but the animal died because the shot was fired at point blank range."
He was of the view that since the fire power of the gun was not enough to instantly immobilse the tiger, it retaliated and tore off one arm of the arrested poacher Inder Singh, before succumbing to the bullet wound.
Inder Singh was later admitted to the Kashipur hospital, while wildlife officials and the police have launched a manhunt fot his two absconding accomplices.
Chandola described the gunned down tiger as a 'healthy 8-year-old in his prime'. He said, "It is a major loss to the nation's wildlife as Corbett park is our most prestigious reserve."
Officially, the park's last tiger count stood at 137, but non-official wildlife enthusiasts estimate this figure to be far lower . "With unabated poaching going on and natural deaths, how can we believe official claims about rise in the tiger population," asked a member of the State Wildlife Board, who prefers anonymity.
Uttaranchal chief wild life conservator however claims, "The count is based on a proper census carried out by a joint team of officials and experts. We have also used the modern camera trap method with infra-red cameras to carry out the census."