NTCA Replaces ‘Man-Eater’ Tag to Deal with Human-Tiger Conflict
On November 11, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) issued revised guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) to deal with the cases of human-tiger conflicts. In the new guidelines, the NTCA stated that during the emergencies arising due to straying of tigers in human habitation, tigers should be labelled as ‘dangerous to human life’ instead of ‘man-eaters’.
The revised SOP clearly stated that only a government department sharp-shooter proficient in animal anesthesia should be involved in the capturing of a confirmed problem animal, not outside hunters.
Wildlife conservationists and veterinarians have applauded the removal of the term ‘man-eater’ as they felt it was a cruel label. Although, according to them, the new term is rather broad and hasn’t been defined well. They are afraid that tigers who have not harmed humans may end up getting the tag of ‘dangerous to human life’ and be captured or killed.
The guidelines signed by Surender Mehra, deputy inspector general of forests, NTCA, have been addressed to all states with tiger ranges. The new guidelines from the NTCA came a year after the controversial killing of tigress Avni in Maharashtra.
Tigress Avni was killed on November 2, 2018, who had allegedly killed 14 villagers in Maharashtra. A professional hunter shot Avni and claimed to do so in self-defense. The tigress was six-year-old and her cubs were one-year-old.
While the new directions from NTCA will help save the big cats from self-invited shooters and hunters who come in the disguise of capturing the tigers and kill them, there are chances of tigers who have not done any harm getting captured or killed. The problematic animal must be identified but the new guidelines don’t specify much on this aspect.
Human-animal conflict has always been a troublesome issue in India. Many times, the agitated people kill the wild animal especially tigers and get away with the killing labeling the tigers as ‘man-eaters’.
Via: Times of India