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How to drown a tiger!

Just eight years after the tiger’s return to Panna, what could have been India’s best wildlife success story is now under threat from an ill-conceived river-linking project.  In the heart of Panna Tiger Reserve, Girwar Singh, a young forest guard with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, has been up the whole night. “The tigress was teaching her young cubs to hunt a chital and they were running around everywhere.” Singh is one of an army of foot soldiers following Panna’s most precious residents—11 radio-collared tigers—night and day through deep valleys and gorges. Singh is in charge of two tigers called T1 and P141. The periodic tic-tic sound of the radio collar sending out a signal to the antenna he holds above his head lets Singh know that the tiger is safe.  This young man has a ringside view of tiger conservation, tracking the big cat and learning more about its mysterious life. But his duties involve physical and mental stress: he cannot afford to ever lose track of his animals. Sometimes there is panic, if he can’t hear the sound, it means either the tiger has wandered off into a valley, or the radio collar is not working. He must then alert the senior officials and an arduous effort begins to bring in the wildlife veterinarian and tranquilise the 250-pound big cat to replace its radio collar.  To read more of this informative report in The Hindu please follow the link below.