About two months after tigress ST-5 went missing from the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) in Rajasthan (India) and intensive combing operations were taken up to search the big cat, the forest department on Saturday said that the tigress is likely to be dead and an FIR will be filed soon.
“For investigation purposes we are presuming that ST-5 is dead. In case, it is found alive, we will file an FR (closure report),” said G Vishwanath Reddy, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan.
Gobind Sagar Bhardwaj, the chief conservator of forest (CCF) and field director, STR, said, “Orders have been issued for registering of FIR against unknown persons under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to conclude what happened to the tigress. An officer of the rank of assistant conservator of forest will carry out the investigation,” he added.
The last pugmarks of the tigress were reported on February 24, 2018, while the last photographic evidence of the same was obtained on January 19. The radio collar on the tigress was installed by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and was being monitored by its team. As per the information provided by the team, the collar was functional till February 7.
However, on March 28, the monitoring team of WII gave a message about the receiving of radio signal of ST-5 and reported receiving intermittent signals of the tigress till April 17. The STR administration wrote thrice to the WII earlier this month requesting them to send experts who would help them in locating the tigress but the experts were never sent. (Hindustan Times)