Six days after a school teacher clicked a tiger on his mobile phone, the striped big cat was captured on Tuesday morning in the advance night vision cameras especially mounted by the forest department in the area. “Our cameras spotted the tiger in forest area 2 km away from Santrampur in Panchmahal district. The tiger is an adult, aged 5-7 years with pug-marks of 15-17cm diameter,” said RM Parmar, deputy conservator forest of Mahisagar district, who was in-charge of the search mission to locate the tiger following its sighting by teacher Mahesh Mahera.
The return of the big cat to Gujarat after 27 years – it was last spotted in Dangs in 1992 – brought elation in the wildlife circuit. “With the sighting of the tiger, Gujarat is now the only state in the country to have the lion, tiger and leopard,” said principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) AK Saxena.
The PCCF said that the department is keeping a close watch on the tiger’s movement to ascertain if it is a guest from MP or Maharashtra or is a permanent resident, having made the Gujarat jungle its home.
Forest minister Ganpat Vasava said that Gujarat welcomes the tiger’s presence and may develop a tiger corridor. “The state forest department has sought expert assistance from the Centre. We have also alerted MP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra from where the tiger could have come into Gujarat,” said Vasava.
Saxena said the state will now have to include tiger in its wildlife plan. “We will be mandated to ensure an adequate prey base in the area and preserve the corridor from where it enters the state,” the PCCF said.
It’s official: Tiger has entered lions’ kingdom – Times of India