Published On: Sun, Jun 30th, 2013

It’s again the free emperor as radio collar stops working

Lucknow: The emperor or ‘Badshah’ of the jungle is undoubtedly the tiger. But, humans have been able to keep a track of the jungle emperor with the help of hi-tech devices like the radio collar. No doubt it’s against the wishes of the Badshah, but the animal got a boost recently as the radio collar developed technical snag and has stopped functioning.

Instead of being concerned, departmental officials are simply trying to play down the incident by stating that they can still spot the animal

Instead of being concerned, departmental officials are simply trying to play down the incident by stating that they can still spot the animal. But how?

It is the same tiger which strayed from South Kheri forest division of Lakhimpur district and reached the periphery of Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow by traversing through cultivated fields and human settlements and covering a distance of over 250 km. After days of efforts it was finally tranqualised in Rehman Khera, a village barely 18 km from Lucknow and reintroduced in the Dudhwa National Park after being radio collared. At the time of its release it was decided to name him ‘Badshah’ or emperor.

With the non-functioning of the radio collar, departmental officials are clueless about the movement of the tiger. Instead of being concerned, they are simply trying to play down the incident by stating that they can still spot the animal. “It is obvious that Badshah can well be differentiated from other feline because it is the only tiger in the park that has a collar around its neck. But the question is – can the tiger be frequently spotted,” asked Dr Rakesh Tomar, a wildlife expert.

Tomar, who hails from Lakhimpur district, said that the tiger population is receding fast in the area due to unabated poaching, large-scale illegal tree felling coupled with massive human invasion in its habitat. “Under these circumstances can one expect that a tiger that had developed strange and aberrant behavior of straying from the wild could be tracked successfully and ensured that it remains within the confines of the park,” he quipped.

On being contacted, the principal chief conservator of forest, wildlife, Rupak Dey admitted that the radio collar had stopped functioning but putting up a brave front said, “We can still keep a track of the animal.” But how?

 

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