An adult male tiger rescued from conflict in Sivasagar district and released in Manas has survived more than 1,000 days in the wild.
According to functionaries of Wildlife Trust of India, this tiger was recently sighted in the wild in Greater Manas confirming its survival. The tiger was released in Manas by the forest department assisted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI). The tiger was caught from Geleky in March 2010, following encounters with people that led to the death of two.
“In cases of human-tiger conflicts in India, capture is generally the beginning and not the end of the story,” said a functionary of WTI, adding that with the tiger population estimated to be less than 2,000 in the country, it cannot be afforded to put one in captivity unnecessarily.
“But then, we cannot also afford to risk human lives, by hastily releasing a potential-trouble one, losing crucial public support for the entire species. It’s a predicament that requires careful consideration of possibilities, based on clear understanding of the animal behaviour,” he added.
It needs to be mentioned here that in the case of the rescued tiger, the authorities analyzing the situation found the attacks on people to be purely accidental, and decided to release it. With efforts on for the revival of Manas, the Bodoland Territorial Council authorities granted permission for its release in Greater Manas region. Accordingly the tiger was radio-collared and released in Manas.
The tiger was recently photographed in the camera traps set for tiger monitoring in Manas, after 1,095 days of its release in the wilderness.
“The new photograph showed that the tiger’s collar has dropped off. With the amount of time it has spent without reports of conflict involving it, we can now be satisfied that this tiger has established itself here. Its reproductive success in Manas will contribute to tiger conservation in this (Manas-Bhutan) landscape,” said the functionary mentioning that this success has shown that conflict animals can be rehabilitated successfully with meticulous planning and scientific monitoring.
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