Following trap-camera findings of the presence of the Royal Bengal Tiger in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, the forest department believes more tigers and cubs could be there.
Expressing his satisfaction, forest minister Jyotipriya Mallick said he will visit Siliguri soon and hold a meeting about development of the sanctuary.
“We are of the opinion that there could be around two more couples and three-four cubs, but it is quite tough to reach them, as they might be inside the deep forests. We will intensify monitoring. I am planning to visit Siliguri soon and will hold a meeting at the sanctuary,” Mr Mallick said.
Trap cameras have captured images of the Royal Bengal Tiger at three different locations in the sanctuary, and according to foresters, the presence of the big cat has been recorded there for the first time after 1998. The images were captured in February, April and August last year.
According to Mr Mallick, 60 more trap cameras will be installed around the area. The sanctuary has 80 odd cameras now.
In his Facebook post, the minister shared the trap camera picture of the Royal Bengal Tiger, which drew applause from netizens. The forest department is waiting for comprehensive reports of the National Tiger Conservation Authority expected to be released in July to get the trend of the tiger population in the forest reserves.
Meanwhile, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, Parveen Kaswan, took to Twitter and shared the trap camera picture of the tiger. Mr Kaswan said the last documentation of a tiger in the sanctuary was 20 years ago. “You are seeing first ever camera trap picture of a Tiger in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary of North Bengal.
The last documentation of the tiger here was two decades back. A cheer for wildlife enthusiasts,” Mr Kaswan wrote.
His post has already generated 149.7k views among Twitter users.
A senior IFS officer, Mohan Pargaien, commented there, “Golden Jubilee Bonus. It’s a matter of great happiness and at the same time opportunity to manage and meet challenges effectively and efficiently.”