Presence of tiger suspected in Goa sanctuary

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Panaji, Jan 25 (PTI) Pug marks found in the Anjunem damcatchment area indicate the presence of a Royal Bengal Tigerin the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Sattari area ofGoa, officials said.

Government officials and a senior environmentalist foundthe pug marks near the dam yesterday.

State forest department has sent a team of experts to thesite which will send the samples for analysis.

"We request the locals not to venture near the site wherethe pugmarks were found," Deputy Conservator of Forest D N FCarvalho told PTI.

He said forensic analysis would establish whether thepugmarks were really of a tiger.

Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar today however claimedthat the pug marks were that of a tiger and a cub.

Kerkar said that they were found in the catchment area ofthe dam. Locals living in the vicinity of the dam have alsosupported the claim as they have been hearing the tiger roarfor a fortnight.

Kerkar said the presence of a tiger and cub has beennoticed there since December 2010 when Pandurang Gawas, alocal, and his son claimed to have seen the big cat crossing aroad that passes along the dam.

Interestingly, last year state forest department hadrecorded tiger pug marks in this area during the wildlifecensus conducted with the help of Dehradun-based WildlifeInstitute of India (WII).

Yesterday, Parshuram Kambli, working on the dam, saw thepug marks and immediately informed senior officials.

As per the last census, Goa had four tigers, but theygenerally come from sanctuaries in neighbouring Karnataka.

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