People held banners with Jai’s picture and the words “Shodhla hi nahi, sapadla hi nahi” (wasn’t searched for, wasn’t traced). They lit candles to remember the 250-kg giant.
WILDLIFE activistS observed a candlelight vigil in the memory of iconic tiger Jai which went missing from its last known location a year ago. Around 50-odd such activists gathered at the Samvidhan chowk here and protested against the alleged indifference of the forest department leading to the disappearance of the tiger from Umred-Krandhla Wildlife Sanctuary about 45 km from here, on April 18 last year, and also its failure to locate the tiger after that. People held banners with Jai’s picture and the words “Shodhla hi nahi, sapadla hi nahi” (wasn’t searched for, wasn’t traced). They lit candles to remember the 250-kg giant.
They also lamented that the probe by a special investigation team comprising experts from Wildlife Institute of India, National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau hasn’t led to anything substantial. They demanded that the report be made public as soon as possible. “We, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, local stake holders, various NGOs have come together to protest the way things were handled, resulting in loss of a prominent male tiger who was everyone’s favourite,” a statement issued by the activists said. They added: “Accountability must be fixed in the matter.”
Meanwhile, a full-grown tigress was found dead in Saleghat area of Mansingdeo Sanctuary on the border of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) on Tuesday. “The tigress had apparently died 4-5 days ago and the body was found to be in a decayed condition. All body parts were intact and, prima facie, it appears to be a natural death,” a press note issued by PTR has said.
About 70-80 hectare of forest was set afire by some miscreants in the core area of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) on Tuesday morning. Only one village, Fuljhari, is located in the PTR core. 65 of 118 households in the village have accepted compensation package and have resettled outside the reserve. The remaining, however, stayed put and are resisting relocation efforts. “We have been trying to douse the fire since morning. We are trying to develop meadows on the land vacated by 65 evacuees. The idea is not acceptable to the remaining villagers,” said a senior official.