Bengaluru: Violating the ban on night traffic in the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (NTR) the owner of a resort ventured inside its core zone with a team of seven photographers in a vehicle on the pretext of escorting water tankers filling a water hole Thursday night.
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Lensmen break night ban, enter the big cat’s lair
The photographers and the resort owner were detained by forest staff who caught them driving in the Veeranahosahalli wildlife range of the reserve at around 9 pm, although vehicle movement is banned in Nagarhole post 6 pm.
The forest officials informed their seniors and then escorted the photographers out of the forest at around 10 pm.
The illegal entry of the eight men inside the Nagarhole Reserve, where five tigers have died, two of them from being poisoned over the last two months, has caused concern among wildlife conservationists, who are also upset at forest officials for letting them go without booking any cases against them.
“It’s a clear case of trespassing and the forest department must take action against those who entered the forest without its permission. Moreover, the area where the resort owner and photographers entered is not open to tourists. Also, the illegal entry took place after 6 pm which is against the law,” said a wildlife conservationist from Mysore.
The resort owner, Gopi Krishna, who has been providing free water to the forest department to fill the waterholes, has reportedly used this to enter the forests multiple times over the last two weeks.
“It appears the forest department has not booked any case against Krishna out of a sense of obligation as he has been providing water for free for over a fortnight now from his farmland nearby to artificially fill the drying water ponds ,” the conservationist added.