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05 Aug 2021, Edition - 2214, Thursday

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Coimbatore

“Poison posing a serious threat to wild animals”

Radhakrishnan D

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Udhagamandalam: The United Conservation Movement (UCM) has expressed serious concern
over recent incidents allegedly relating to the death by poisoning of wild animals,particularly tigers.

In a statement issued here on Sunday,Mr.Vijay Krishnaraj of the UCM has lamented that
since April 2020, four tigers have been poisoned in the forest landscapes of Tamil Nadu. Five wild dogs (dholes) have also succumbed to poison in the Singara range, Masinagudi, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve’s buffer.
Over 20 elephants have died, some due to poisoning and fruit bombs. Sirumagai range, Coimbatore division has been a killing field for most of these dead jumbos.

Though the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has been on high alert, regular incidents of poisoning in Masinagudi is a matter of serious
concern. On April 8, 2020, a tiger was found dead in a virtually dry stream (Avarallah beat) in Masinagudi. The carcass was found in a putrefied state.

It was claimed to be natural death. But forensic analysis found traces of orgono phosphorous (forit/ furidon).

Again on September 9, 2020 five wild dogs were found dead in Singara range, Masinagudi. Forensic reports reveal the dholes had been
poisoned. Orgono phosphorous was found in the viscera of all five dholes.

This should have prompted the authorities concerned at the MTR  to improve the protection mechanism. The custodians  of the reserve should have been all the more alert as “ tribals were hell bent on getting rid of Tiger 23 which had killed a woman on August 31, 2020.”

Callousness,allegedly  lead  to the death of a tigress on November 20. Again forensic experts found traces of orgono phosphorous in its
viscera, indicating the tigress, which had cubs, had been deliberately poisoned.

Fortunately two cubs were rescued. They are being nurtured at the Vandalur zoo in Chennai.

The wild dogs and tigress could have possibly been saved had precautionary measures been taken.

With activists raising concern over frequent wildlife deaths, N S Murli, Inspector General, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) visited Masinagudi a week ago.

“We are hopeful that he would put the protection mechanism in right perspective in the critical tiger landscape”,Mr.Krishnaraj said.

The Tamil Nadu government  should either call for an enquiry or transfer the officers concerned.

Else more wildlife species would succumb to poisoning in Masinagudi and  Mudumalai .

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