By P.T. Bopanna
The time has come to look at the big picture on why tigers are on the prowl in Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka and how to deal with the tiger attacks on humans.
The fact should be noted that the politicians who are making so much noise about the tiger attacks, should also take the responsibility for the problem because they are mainly responsible for deforestation which has triggered the man-animal conflict.
These politicians who are hand-in-glove with the timber mafia have not allowed a discussion on the Kasturirangan report to preserve the ecology of the region.
According to experts, the main cause for the increasing incidents of tiger attacks on humans and cattle is due to the fact that the number of tigers and sub-adults has increased in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve and they are venturing out to create their territory.
One of the solutions for this is to expand the Nagarahole tiger reserve by adding more buffer zones to the reserve covering an area of 652 sq km at present.
Experts feel that another solution is to shift some of the healthy tigers to other reserves in the country, though this needs a wider discussion.
The forest department is planning to include Ponnampet as a buffer zone. This should be done by taking people into confidence. The area was a traditional tiger migratory path in the 1950- 1960s.
The forest department should also constitute a special team on a permanent basis to tranquillise tigers that stray into human habitat and relocate them to the forest.