Manas (Assam), April 5, 2010: The conflict tiger that was captured early last week in Sivasagar, Upper Assam, was released in the core area of Manas National Park on Friday. The tiger is currently being monitored using radio-telemetry.
The tiger – an adult male – had attacked three people near Geleki, Sivasagar leading to the death of two. It was tranquilised and captured by a team of Forest Department staff assisted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare – Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) last Monday. The tiger was kept at the IFAW-WTI run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) for close to 70 hours, even as the authorities discussed its release with experts from the state.
“Ideally, any ‘stray’ animals that are rescued are released in or close to the site of rescue. However, in this tiger’s case, it was essential to find an alternative release site, as Geleki Reserve Forest from where the tiger could have originated, is extremely fragmented,” clarified Dr NVK Ashraf, Director, Wild Rescue programme, WTI.
Manas National Park, Nameri National Park and Joypur Reserve Forest were shortlisted as potential sites for the tiger’s release. Manas National Park was selected as the most suitable area as IFAW-WTI team already has a presence there to carry out the required post-release monitoring of the tiger.
“We think, Manas has a good prey base and good habitat for tigers. Even though there are others dominant males here, we hope this adult tiger will not have any conflict with them and will be successful in making its own territory very soon,” said A Swargiary, Field Director, Manas National Park.
The tiger was translocated to Manas from CWRC on Thursday evening. Prior to its release, the tiger was radio-collared by a team led by IFAW-WTI veterinarian Dr Bhaskar Choudhury.
“This is the first tiger released into the wild in Manas. We are extremely happy and excited to have this tiger back in the wild. Now we are monitoring the tiger with the hope that it settles down and establishes a territory in Manas,” said Dr Choudhury.
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About WTI: Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), is a non-profit conservation organisation, committed to urgent action that works towards the protection of India’s wildlife and wild habitats. Its mission is to conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.
About IFAW: As one of the world’s leading animal welfare organization, IFAW has representation in 16 countries and carries out its animal welfare work in more than 40. IFAW works from its global headquarters in the United States and focuses its campaigns on improving the welfare of wild and domestic animals by reducing the commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. IFAW works both on the ground and in the halls of government to safeguard wild and domestic animals and seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people.
Notes for Editors:
- 1. WTI’s actvities in Manas: Through over five years of intensive efforts that included strengthening of anti-poaching apparatus, reintroduction of rhinos, rehabilitation of flagship species, community-based conservation as well as scientific surveys that proved the resilience of a beleaguered Manas National Park, WTI has been collaborating with the Bodoland Territorial Council and Assam Forest Department to bring Manas back to its former glory.
WTI’s Greater Manas Conservation Project helped conceptualise, demarcate the boundaries and mobilise political will to declare Greater Manas, effectively doubling the protected area system of Bodoland in the northeast India.
Since 2006, rhino calves handraised at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) near Kaziranga National Park, have been released in Manas National Park, beginning the reintroduction of the species that went locally extinct. Likewise five handraised elephants are being reintegrated with wild herds while three Asiatic black bear cubs have been returned to the wild in Manas. Two handraised clouded leopard cubs are also being acclimatised in Greater Manas area, for an eventual rehabilitation back in the wild.
- 2. About the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC): CWRC is India’s first rescue and rehabilitation centre located near a protected area. It was established in August 2002 with the primary aim of stabilising displaced animals and releasing them back into the wild, adhering to internationally accepted, but localised protocols and guidelines. Since its inception, CWRC has rescued and rehabilitated more than 500 distressed wild animals.
Complementing the CWRC are five strategically placed Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) units in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which have successfully responded to over a thousand distress calls and also assisted the Forest Department in conflict management.