In Protocol Failure, TS Forest Dept Fails to Inform NTCA of Tiger Deaths

Hyderabad: The Telangana forest department has been hiding crucial information, particularly about tiger deaths in the state, from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), according to sources familiar with the issue.

The standard protocol involves immediate information sharing with the NTCA in the event of the death of a tiger, but this was not followed by the state forest department officials.

Sources said the NTCA on Monday questioned top Telangana forest officials on why it was not informed about the death of a sub-adult tigress, which was discovered two days ago, and as per the department’s claims on Sunday, died ostensibly in a “fight over territory” in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.

Incidentally, the NTCA was, again, not informed immediately of the death of another tiger, a large male, also in the same area on Monday and not far from where the sub-adult tigress was found dead two days ago. Again, it was only after NTCA found out about the second tiger death and questioned the forest officials did they admit to the death of another tiger in less than a week.

Sources said the NTCA was refusing to buy the Telangana forest officials’ theory about the young tigress dying in a battle for territory with another tiger. “As far as the NTCA is concerned, unless it is proven beyond doubt through complete scientific examination of the remains, and a fully documented report, every tiger death is seen as one caused by poaching,” an NTCA source said.

It was only after the NTCA wrote to the forest officials on Monday, after the authority officials learnt about the death of the tigress through media reports, that the state forest officials responded, claiming that all NTCA protocols were followed during the examination of the carcass, collection of samples and its subsequent disposal.

However, the first step in the protocol, that of informing the NTCA of the event, was not adhered to, sources said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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