Missing tiger Jai still a mystery for forest department

Tiger Jai went missing from the Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary on April 18, 2016. File Pic

It's been over a year that tiger Jai went missing from the Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary (UKWS), but till date neither the forest department has been able to trace the animal, nor has it been able to fix accountability for the disappearance of the big cat. Wildlife activists and photographers are of the opinion that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)-appointed committee looking into the matter should make the report about Jai public and also a CID investigation should be carried out in the matter as promised by the Chief Minister.

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After Jai went missing on April 18, 2016, the forest department and senior scientists from Wildlife Institute of India had faced a lot of criticism, as he was a radio-collared tiger. While some among the wildlife photographer community took potshots at the department for not properly monitoring Jai's activities, others said that researchers could not be held responsible for the technical snag that developed in the collar.

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Wildlife photographer Sarosh Lodhi said, "It's been over a year now but the authorities are yet to find Jai's whereabouts. What's more shocking is that nobody has taken responsibility for the tiger's disappearance."

Lodhi said, "He not only generated revenue, but also helped in increasing the tiger population in the sanctuary. We have been protesting against the way things were handled, but our concerns and demands have fallen on deaf ears."

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"Results of the probe done by NTCA and the agency appointed by the Centre should be made public. Appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that such incidents don't happen in future," said another wildlife photographer.

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