BHUBANESWAR : The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on Tuesday sought a report on the death of a tiger, allegedly electrocuted in Bargarh Forest Division recently, which led to huge outrage after it was claimed to be a leopard by forest officials.Although it is mandatory on part of the Forest department to inform death of any tiger or leopard to NTCA, it is alleged that the apex authority on tigers in the country was not kept in the loop over the matter.
The incident of the tiger death came to light on October 28 when Forest officials of Hirakud Wildlife Division came across decomposed remnants of a wild animal in a trench near Khajuria village within Bhatli police limits in Bargarh district. The animal had died due to electrocution by poachers.
The State Government, which was in the eye of storm over death of seven elephants in Dhankanal due to electrocution on October 27, immediately claimed it to be a leopard. Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Hirakud Wildlife Division Sudeep Nayak, who had sent three teams to the spot for probe, claimed that the dead animal was a leopard.
Meanwhile, an unhappy NTCA has also asked the Forest department to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for disposal of tiger/leopard carcass/body parts, which has been developed to maintain transparency, meet the present challenges and prevent any pilferage for illegal market. As per the NTCA SOP, disposal of the carcass by incineration is mandatory in presence of the Field Director or an officer not below the rank of the Conservator of Forests. While incinerating the carcass, the sequence must be photographed and video recorded and before leaving the site, forest officials have to ensure that the whole carcass including bones are fully burnt.
After incineration, the forest officials are required to prepare a ‘Panchnama’ (Memo) on disposal of the carcass duly signed by the postmortem team and officer in-charge and send a final report to the CWLW under intimation to the NTCA with supporting photographs/documents.