Bad weather delays airlifting of tigers to Sariska

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) A pair of Ranthambhore tigers is waiting for the rains to stop to be relocated to their new home in Sariska which has been made rehabitable for them again.

''The animals will be airlifted to the sanctuary in a helicopter, but because of the weather, we are not able to do that,'' Director of the Wildlife Institute of India A K Sinha told UNI from Ranthambhore tiger reserve, where he is camping with his team to oversee the shifting.

He said his team was camping in Ranthambhore for the last ten days waiting for suitable weather for transporting the animals to their new home in a chopper.

''We hope we will be able to do it in a day or two,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority Rajesh Gopal said the work of relocating one village from Sariska out of the four envisaged had been completed, while the work for relocation of the second one was going on.

He said initially only a pair would be shifted, but soon a third tiger will join them.

Ranthambhore is at present having a boom in tiger population.

Sariska became infamous three years ago having lost all of its tiger population, creating nationwide uproar.

Sariska forests, located in Alwar District of Rajasthan, were declared a wildlife reserve in 1955 and a Tiger Reserve in 1978.

The reserve has an area of 866 sq km and is situated 107 km north east of the state capital Jaipur.

It was about three years ago that the news of Sariska having lost its tiger population started coming in, mainly from tourists.

A year later in 2005, the state government and the Project Tiger authorities confirmed that the species had disappeared from the sanctuary, in the wake of which a Tiger Task Force was created by the Prime Minister. The Task Force submitted its report in August 2005.

Sariska is among the 28 Tiger reserves in the country which have come up since 1970.

The Project Tiger had been instituted on the basis of the report of the first Task Force on tiger headed by Dr Karan Singh. It was created after the dwindling population of tigers attracted worldwide attention in late 1060s.


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