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Tamil Nadu at the forefront of tiger conservation

April 22, 2008
The Tiger is vanishing from our jungles. That is the story in the rest of the country. But in Tamil Nadu, it is said to be increasing according to a recent report. There are three Tiger reserves in Tamil Nadu, two of which have been notified only recently.

But how have they have increased in this state? The concerned official says 'by leaving them alone'.

We went to visit the Kallakad-Mundanthurai Tiger sanctuary in the Western Ghats. It shares a long border with Kerala and what is special about this sanctuary is that as many as 14 rivers originate from its area. Thus there is no water shortage throughout the year.

C Bhadrasamy has been in the forest department for 27 long years. He is the Deputy Director of this sanctuary. "There are no positive steps that you can take to make Tigers breed, but you can create an environment of least disturbance for them," he said.

He goes on to say, "By nature, Tamil Nadu is a law-abiding state. So it is easier to protect the Tiger here. Do you know that the RPF is the second largest armed force in the country after the Army? They still cannot maintain discipline and safety in the North. But we with a very small team can protect the Tiger here. The reason is the self -discipline of the people of this state."

"Protection is total and complete here. Though we do have a lot of practical difficulties, we have ensured that the Tiger has an undisturbed habitat for breeding. Another advantage we have over other states is that we do not have a problem with extremists. They usually hide in the forests. And as they use arms, their presence is highly disturbing to the animal kingdom," he says.

Image: A tiger crosses the road in Ranthambore National Park in India's northwestern Rajasthan state.

Text : A Ganesh Nadar | Photograph : Aditya Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: It's a shame we can't protect our national animal


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