Tiger spotted in Gujarat after three decades, government confirms presence

State forest minister Ganpatsinh Vasava said on Tuesday that the carnivore was caught on cameras set up by the forest department in that area.

Published: 12th February 2019 04:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2019 04:52 PM   |  A+A-

Image of a tiger used for representational purpose only. (Photo| mptourism.com)


AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government has confirmed the presence of a tiger in the state, days after a man claimed he saw the big cat crossing a road in Mahisagar district.

State forest minister Ganpatsinh Vasava said on Tuesday that the carnivore was caught on cameras set up by the forest department in that area.

"It has now been confirmed. A tiger in the age-group of 7 to 8 years has been seen in Mahisagar district," Vasava told reporters in Gandhinagar. The striped animal was last seen in Gujarat in 1989.

Subsequent surveys carried out every four years by the central government showed no presence of tiger in the state, he said.

A local government school teacher had last week claimed that he saw a tiger crossing a road near Boriya village in Mahisagar, around 120 km from here, on February 6.

The teacher clicked the animal's picture on his mobile phone and shared it with friends on social media platforms.

The photo soon went viral and based on the teacher's claim, the forest department set up several camera traps in that area.

Vasava said the tiger might have come to Gujarat from any of the neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra, where the striped animals are found.

"The Madhya Pradesh government has said that a tiger has gone missing from Ujjain. It is possible that the tiger seen here can be from any of these neighbouring states which have tigers," the minister stated.

He said the state government will now contact the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which has the data of tigers across the country, to ascertain where the feline came from.

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will also be involved to carry out a survey in the area to find out if this region is conducive for tigers, he said.

"We now agree that there is a tiger in Gujarat. WII will study if the area could be developed for tigers. We are also seeking NTCA's guidance," he said.

Vasava said it was yet to be ascertained how long and where the lone tiger had been roaming in Gujarat.

"We are yet to ascertain if that area was the tiger's permanent residence or whether it migrated from neighbouring states. It is certain that Gujarat is also a part of tiger's natural corridor," he said.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Akshay Saxena said evidence like pug marks and scats, as well as hair and scratch marks on a tree had to some extent confirmed the tiger's presence in the region.

"Later, camera traps were set up and we have now got visual evidence of a tiger in the area. It is not necessary that we will find the tiger in the same area, so we will continue to keep a watch," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp