AboutZoos, Since 2008


Quick Think­ing by Indian Vil­lage Saves Injured Tiger

pub­lished 13 Decem­ber 2012 | mod­i­fied 13 Decem­ber 2012
Tiger barbedwireThe Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety (WCS) com­mends the vil­lage of Nidugumba in Kar­nataka State in south­west India for its swift action to save an injured tiger that had become caught in a barbed wire fence last week.

The female adult tiger was dis­cov­ered on a cof­fee plan­ta­tion on Decem­ber 4 with its left paw entan­gled. The cof­fee planter and other com­mu­nity mem­bers quickly called author­i­ties while pre­vent­ing the tiger from being harassed. Big cats, when caught in snares or fences, strug­gle fiercely and often fur­ther injure them­selves.

A team of for­est rangers and vet­eri­nar­i­ans arrived and tran­quilised the cat and untan­gled it from the fence. The tigress is now under­go­ing a close exam­i­na­tion at the Mysore Zoo to assess her injuries, age, and health sta­tus so that an informed deci­sion can be made about her future.

WCS India applauds the vil­lage of Nidugumba for their exem­plary restraint and pos­i­tive con­ser­va­tion atti­tude, and com­pli­ments the staff and offi­cers of the Kar­nataka For­est Depart­ment for their model han­dling of a sit­u­a­tion that could eas­ily have turned into a tragedy for the tiger as well as humans,” said Dr. Ullas Karanth, WCS Direc­tor for Sci­ence — Asia. “Too often, in sit­u­a­tions involv­ing a large preda­tor that is acci­den­tally cor­nered in human-​dominated land­scapes, peo­ple can swiftly form mobs and attack the ani­mal as well as impede for­est offi­cials han­dling the sit­u­a­tion. This often ends trag­i­cally with the death of the big cat and some­times injuries to peo­ple and for­est staff.”

Just two days before on Decem­ber 2, a cor­nered tiger near Wayanad Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary in Ker­ala State, which is in the south of Nagara­hole National Park, was shot dead by offi­cials amid chaos cre­ated by a mob.

Nidugumba is about 1.2 kilo­me­tres (0.75 miles) away from the edge of Nagara­hole National Park, known to hold high den­si­ties of tigers (1012 ani­mals per 100 km2/38.6 square miles). WCS long-​term stud­ies show that, beyond a cer­tain den­sity, tigers dis­perse out­side the park into other areas. While this is poten­tially pos­i­tive for tiger con­ser­va­tion, it increases the chances of tigers com­ing into con­tact with humans.
The Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety saves wildlife and wild places world­wide. We do so through sci­ence, global con­ser­va­tion, edu­ca­tion and the man­age­ment of the world’s largest sys­tem of urban wildlife parks, led by the flag­ship Bronx Zoo. Together these activ­i­ties change atti­tudes towards nature and help peo­ple imag­ine wildlife and humans liv­ing in har­mony. WCS is com­mit­ted to this mis­sion because it is essen­tial to the integrity of life on Earth.

(Source: WCS press release, 12.12.2012)
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Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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