Relocated tiger flees Rajaji Tiger Reserve, forest department in huddle to track it 

RISHIKESH: A tiger translocated recently to Rajaji Tiger Reserve has fled from its Motichoor range creating panic among people living in the periphery of the forest area.

The five-year-old male tiger dropped its radio-collar in the enclosure meant for it and fled somewhere, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Rajiv Bhartari said.

The big cat was translocated to Rajaji Tiger Reserve from Corbett Tiger Reserve recently.

This is the mating season for tigers and the translocation had been done in the hope of strengthening the tiger population at Rajaji Tiger Reserve, especially in the western part, according to officials.

Bhartari admitted that fleeing of the big cat from its enclosure was a jolt to the tiger relocation project of the Uttarakhand government.

In the present circumstances it has become difficult to keep track of the movement of the big cat, he asserted.

However, as the radio collar had been dropped in the enclosure, forest guards remained under the illusion that the tiger was still there.

The situation is being reviewed in accordance with the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority to deal with the challenge and ensure that an incident like this does not occur in future, Bhartari said.

He said it will also be probed who radio-collared the tiger after tranquilising it before translocating it from the Dhela range of Corbett to Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

All efforts are focussed at the moment on tracing the tiger, the official said.

People living on the outer fringe of Rajaji Tiger Reserve are in panic with a big cat on the loose in the area.

Director of Wildlife Institute of India Dhananjay Mohan said such incidents have also occurred in the past. There can be many factors behind it, he added.

“There are other ways to monitor the movement of the tiger which will be utilised to track him,” Mohan said. The Wildlife Institute of India is a partner in the ongoing tiger relocation project of Uttarakhand.