BENGALURU: The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has slammed Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (NTR) field staff for the death of a tigress in a botched-up rescue operation.
A 10-year-old tigress was darted multiple times on January 17 in the Antarsanthe Range of NTR, resulting in its death.
Most of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) followed while capturing big carnivores and provisions of Wildlife Protection Act were violated, the NTCA stated in its factual report submitted this month.
“The entire rescue operation was botched up, unplanned and undertaken without formation of a committee. Without exploring alternatives, chemical immobilization was attempted. The park management and the veterinary doctor were not even aware of the SOPs. Necessary action should be initiated by the state forest department,” the report added.
“No sincere attempt was made to contact senior officials and the animal was darted without permission. Efforts should have been made to drive the tiger back to reserve area.”
Age, sex, behaviour, health, physiological status, time of the day and other factors were also not considered before darting the animal. Poor handling and care of the immobilized tiger post darting have also been mentioned in the NTCA report.
When contacted, officials in the department said they were perusing the report. In January, five tigers died in Nagarhole reserve for various reasons.
Complete record of drugs not given
No technical committee formed
Procedure done after evening hours
Tiger darted multiple times
Rules not followed in tiger translocation
No proper, expert staff in the capture team
Lack of proper knowledge of SOPs
No effort to allow the tiger to escape
Poor crowd management
Communication protocol breached
All tiger reserve staff
should know SOPs
Conduct mock drills in rescue/ rehabilitation of carnivores
Develop communication protocol for staff dealing with emergencies
Build the staff capacity for dealing with conflict situations
Form special teams at tiger reserve or forest circle level for darting