Hyderabad: Two tigers, a male and a female, which inhabit the Kawal Tiger Reserve, are under severe threat from poachers. In the past five months three poaching incidents have occurred in the core area of the tiger reserve, raising concerns over the safety of the two tigers that have taken up residence here since last year.
The worst of the three incidents occurred in June in Khanapur range when two poachers were booked for killing a chowsingha and a nilgai. Chowsingha is a threatened species protected under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act. The other two incidents occurred in April and May under Kaddam and Pembi ranges.
Another incident, which also took place in June, is more worrisome though as it occurred in the buffer area of the tiger reserve. Mamda forest officials had arrested a total of five persons from Chandrayangutta and Golconda in Hyderabad while they were hunting for game.
The five were chargesheeted but they managed to secure bail and officials are awaiting the date for the next hearing. Also, activists say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and more such cases either go unnoticed or unreported.
Kawal measures around 2,000 sq. km in area but has just around 30-40 base camps with four-five unarmed guards. The Centre had last year sanctioned the Armed Special Tiger Protection Force of 100 guards each for both Kawal and Amrabad Tiger Reserves in Telangana. The state government, however, has not done anything yet to realise this force....