Sixteen Asiatic lions were killed in Gir Forest Sanctuary in the first three months of this year. Shockingly, these killings happened in ten separate incidents. Apparently, the culprits have been found, a gang which killed the lions with poison, traps and sharpened bamboo sticks. Its shocking that these kind of incidents are allowed to happen. It simply cannot, not without the connivance of forest guards. The guards are believed to be undergoing lie detector tests now.
But the government is not tackling this issue on a war footing. Inspite of these incidents being reported widely in the media, the weekly cabinet meeting on on Wednesday (4th) did not discuss the issue.
Our tigers are suffering the same fate. All India statistics show that while there were 40,000 tigers at the beginning of the 20th century, today the exact number could be barely over a thousand! However, official figures tell a different story, and say that there are about 3000 plus tigers, but conservationists do not believe these figures.
Everyone knows what happened in Sariska Game Reserve in Rajasthan. There is not a single tiger left there. In fact, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in a 2006 report blamed the Rajasthan Government squarely for its “complete failure” in controlling poaching and encroachment on forest land.
All in all, its clear that our government is not serious about protecting Wildlife. Here we are, heading towards being the number two economy by 2050, but Wildlife can go take a back seat.
(Photos sourced from birdsart.com and the bbc