Soon, Madhya Pradesh to have 'Special Tiger Reserves' for captured tigers

the asian age  | Rabindra Nath Choudhury

India, All India

At least three tigers, one female and two male ones, have been captured in different tiger reserves in the state in the last four years.

Tigers at the Sariska Tiger Reserve. (PTI/Representational image)

Bhopal: In a first of its kind move, Madhya Pradesh forest department is planning to develop ‘special tiger reserves’ to house the big cats captured in the forest and held in captivity in the zoos for various reasons, to ease pressure of tourism on the tiger reserves in the state.

The tigers identified to be released in the proposed ‘special tiger reserves’ included the big cats which have a history of killing human beings, called in common parlance as ‘man-eaters’, a senior forest officer said on Monday.

Several of such tigers have been captured and shifted to different zoos in the state for their rehabilitation.

At least three tigers, one female and two male ones, have been captured in different tiger reserves in the state in the last four years.

"The basic idea of developing ‘special tiger reserve’ is to ease pressure of tourism in the core areas of the tiger reserves in the state. It has been noticed that tourists venture into core areas of tiger reserves for tiger sighting, putting pressure on the wild animal and the ecosystem. Development of special tiger safaris will shift the pressure of tourism from core areas to buffer zones in the tiger reserves", spokesman of state forest department Rajneesh Singh told this newspaper.

The tigers which have a history of killing human beings and also which are found not fit to be released in the wild such as orphaned cubs and sick ones, have been rehabilitated in different zoos in the state.

The state forest department has earlier sent proposals to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to develop three ‘special tiger reserves’ in Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh National Parks recently, a senior forest officer said.

"The NTCA has given in principle approval to the project to develop ‘special tiger reserves’ in these National Parks. The project is estimated to cost Rs 50 crore," he added.

According to him, each special tiger reserve, comprising an area of around 90 hectares, will have at least a couple of tigers to ensure easy tiger sighting for tourists.

The special tiger reserves will be developed on the side of rivers or natural water bodies in the buffer zones of tiger reserves.

"The move will not only ease pressure of tourism on tiger reserves but also promote eco-tourism to earn precious revenue for the state government," Singh added.

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