AboutZoos, Since 2008


Ben­gal tiger killed by poach­ers inside Itana­gar Zoo

pub­lished 27 Sep­tem­ber 2012 | mod­i­fied 28 Sep­tem­ber 2012

Bengal tiger cubsPolice in India’s north-​eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh are look­ing for a gang of poach­ers who entered a high-​security zoo in the cap­i­tal, Itana­gar, and hacked a Ben­gal tigress to death. Offi­cials have ordered an inves­ti­ga­tion into the inci­dent, which hap­pened on Mon­day night, Sep­tem­ber 24. The arrival of secu­rity guards pre­vented the poach­ers from car­ry­ing away the muti­lated animal.

The poach­ing and smug­gling of tiger body parts is com­mon across India. The ani­mals are prized through­out East Asia in gen­eral and China in par­tic­u­lar for the sup­posed med­i­c­i­nal value of their body parts.

Tiger num­bers have shrunk alarm­ingly in India in recent decades. A 2011 cen­sus counted about 1,700 tigers in the wild. A cen­tury ago there were esti­mated to be 100,000 tigers in India.

The tigress had bul­let injuries and most of its body parts were intact. But we are tak­ing action against those who should have been around to pre­vent the incident
BS Sajwan, the state’s chief con­ser­va­tor of forest »

The poach­ers tran­quilised the six-​year-​old tigress before enter­ing its enclo­sure and cut­ting it into six pieces, offi­cials at the zoo say. A post-​mortem of the ani­mal has now been car­ried out. Zoo chief Zoram Dopum said that the poach­ers fled when three secu­rity guards who had gone for din­ner returned to the area.

There have been attempts at poach­ing ani­mals in the zoo before, offi­cials say. In Feb­ru­ary 2006, three tigers and a leop­ard were poi­soned by unknown peo­ple. One tiger died, while the other two other ani­mals survived.

The tragedy of last Mon­day night had severe con­se­quences for the secu­rity guards, as they were fired. Fur­ther­more, the Arunachal Pradesh gov­ern­ment intro­duced a Bill (‘The Arunachal Pradesh For­est and Spe­cial Tiger Pro­tec­tion Forces Bill 2012) in the state assem­bly for pro­tec­tion of the big cats accord­ing The Eco­nomic Times on Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 27.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at BBC News and Glob­al­Post. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length.

(Source: BBC News India, 26.09.2012; Glob­al­Post, 26.09.2012)

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Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

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Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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