Awareness on tiger movement to be taken up in villages

The Forest Department will soon launch a vigorous awareness campaign on tiger movement issues in villages lying along the banks of Penganga river on the border that Adilabad district’s Bheempur mandal shares with Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.

All the villages which fall in the corridor area will be subjected to the awareness programme once the tigress moving near Tamsi (K) village in the mandal either progresses further down towards Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) ahead or retreats to the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) from where it has come.

“We have identified three points on the river on the inter-State border which the big cats from Tipeshwar WLS use to cross over into Bheempur mandal. There are about 20 villages which will be the focus of our awareness initiative,” revealed Field Director, KTR, C.P. Vinod, as he talked about initiation of permanent measures to protect incoming tigers in the corridor.

“A special team consisting of two forest officials and four multilingual animal trackers to converse with people even in tribal dialects will be in place soon. This team will quickly reach the place from where a tiger sighting gets reported to make preliminary investigations after which it will launch the awareness programme,” he added.

The nitty gritty of creating awareness will include telling the villagers how to react on seeing a tiger. The dos and dont’s that the villagers will be told will help cut down on the chances of a conflict between humans and the ferocious animal once they come this side after crossing Penganga.

Life in Tamsi (K) village seemed normal on Wednesday after the scare that the Tipeshwar tigress had spread in the area during the last few days. The presence of forest officials in the village and in base camps surrounding it seemed to have infused confidence among them. It was this normalcy which gave authorities time to concentrate upon protection of the tigress as well as on the issue of permanent measures to protect tigers migrating from the rather small Tipeshwar WLS. According to sources, there is a chance of a few more big cats sauntering into Bheempur in the coming months as the Sanctuary across the border, which is just over 143 sq km of area, and located about 10 km from Tamsi (K) village as the crow flies, is overcrowded with tigers.

In previous instances, a tiger had come to the same area in December 2016, and two in monsoon last year. One of the two tigers, C1, had entered Bheempur mandal in June-July last year and returned only to create a record by waking over 1,300 km to reach Dnyanganga WLS in Buldhana district of Maharashtra while another, C3, had stayed here for a few days before returning to Tipeshwar in June-July last year.

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