Raj HC to hear fresh petition on T-24’s relocation to wild

Raj HC to hear fresh petition on T-24’s relocation to wild

The Rajasthan High Court is set to hear a fresh writ petition on Friday for the relocation of Tiger T-24 also called Ustad back to the wild in Ranthmbore National Park.

 

Raj HC to hear fresh petition on T-24’s relocation to wild

The Rajasthan High Court is set to hear a fresh writ petition on Friday for the relocation of Tiger T-24 also called Ustad back to the wild in Ranthmbore National Park.

Ustad is presently at Sajjangarh Biological Park to where he was shifted in May after he allegedly mauled a forest guard to death in Ranthambore.

The High Court had earlier dismissed a similar petition filed soon after Ustad’s relocation to captivity. The fresh petition has been filed by Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dube.

“The Rajasthan forest department’s decision (to shift Ustad) was not just arbitrary, it was illegal. They immediately branded him a maneater without consulting any experts,” says Dube. He adds, “Besides, the tiger is a schedule-1 animal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, which means the state government had to seek permission from the Centre, as it is required under section 12 of the Act. They neither informed the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) nor followed the Standard Operating Procedure while shifting the tiger.”

Since Ustad was shifted to Biological Park, he has struggled with health problems and was recently operated for intestinal complications to which the Sajjangarh administration has reported improvement in his condition.

“T-24 may not (qualify to) be described as a maneater. Rather such incidents may be more closely described as consequences of chance encounters due to excessive human proximity to tiger,” the tiger conservation body said in its report.

It also questioned the state government’s decision to shift the tiger to a zoo instead of putting him in another location into the wild. However, the state forest department has stood by its assessment of Ustad being a maneater. “There is no plan to shift T-24 back to Ranthambore,” Chief Wildlife Warden R K Tyagi had told a national daily earlier this month.

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