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CZA seeks report from Raj govt on shifting of tiger `Ustad`

Business Standard
New Delhi
31 Dec 2017

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) here has sought a report from the Rajasthan government on alleged illegal housing of Ranthambore`s tiger T-24, popularly known as `Ustad`, in a Udaipur zoo.

Ustad was shifted, in an alleged violation of norms, from the Ranthambore forest after it killed a forest guard there on May 8, 2015, to Sajjangarh biological park.

Wildlife activists have raised objections over the alleged illegal translocation and housing of the tiger in the Udaipur Zoo, claiming it was done without taking necessary permission from the CZA and National Tiger Conservation Authority and has forced Ustad to live like a "refugee".

CZA`s member secretary D N Singh recently wrote to the chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan seeking a report in this regard.

Singh has asked the state administration to assess the big cat and ascertain the possibility of releasing it back in to the wild, according to the letter.

If found unfit to be released and if the zoo operator decides to house it in the zoo, then it (the operator) should seek necessary permission from the CZA, the letter said.

"If decision is taken to house the tiger in the Sajjangarh biological park, Udaipur, it shall be ensured to provide housing, upkeep and veterinary care of the tiger as per standard and norms prescribed by the CZA," it said, adding a report on factual status should be submitted to the CZA at the earliest.

The CZA`s letter followed a series of complaints over the alleged illegal housing of Ustad.

The functioning of zoos in the country is regulated by the CZA, an autonomous statutory body. Every zoo in the country is required to obtain recognition from the authority for its operation.

"It is totally illegal to keep Ustad in the Udaipur zoo. The authorities there have flouted relevant wildlife norms by illegally shifting the tiger from Ranthambore to Sajjangarh and then keeping him like a refugee in the zoo," said wildlife activist Ajay Dubey, who had filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court in the matter.

The NTCA and the CZA should take strict action against those responsible for this illegal act, he demanded.

The CZA`s letter to the Rajasthan`s forest department was written following a complaint from Dubey.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)