The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has quashed an order passed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, directing a tigress, which killed two and injured two persons, to be shot dead.
The bench of Justice BP Dharmakdhikari and Justice Rohit Deo were hearing a PIL filed by Dr. Jerrvi Avinash Banait, who contended that procedures established and prescribed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2013 were against declaring the particular tiger as a “man-eater”.
The tigress named T27 Cub1 had killed two persons, injured two and tried to attack to two more. But these attacks took place inside the reserve forest area.
After the assistance of Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Chandrapur, and Deputy Conservator of Forest, Bramhapuri, who were present in the court, it decided to set aside the June 23 order to shoot the tigress.
Efforts to tranquilise the animal are underway and in case, it becomes necessary to kill the animal, then standard operating procedures (SOPs) have to be followed.
Under the SOP to deal with emergency arising due to straying of tigers in human-dominated landscapes, certain guidelines were issued, which state that there is a difference between ‘human kill’ due to chance encounters and ‘habituated man-eaters’.
The guidelines further state that tigers often use agriculture fields and similar cover along river courses while feeding on livestock or blue bull, which may also cause lethal encounters with human beings. Such animals should not be declared as ‘man-eaters’. However, confirmed habituated tiger / leopard that ‘stalks’ human beings and feeds on dead body are likely to be ‘man-eaters’.