Saturday, December 08, 2007

Is Bhopal Van Vihar safe for animals?

Gautam, a five year-old male tiger died on last Thursday at Van Vihar, National Park of Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh. This is not the first death this year, if we look at figures two tigers and one white tiger have died this year in Van Vihar. Particularly disturbing is that deaths of these ‘big cats’ have being happening in regular intervals since from October 2006. A total of six ‘big cats’ have died here. This includes two white tigers, one tigress, two tiger and one lion. In the post-mortem report conducted on Gautam’s body and as shared with media states that the main reasons of the death was vector borne disease. Now this raises another question about safety of other animals in Van Vihar. Though as a precautionary measure, blood samples of the other carnivorous animals of the park have been sent for testing. But is that enough?

Van Vihar, Bhopal national park is kind of pride of the state and host number of animals, including white tiger, panther, lion and tigress. But deaths in last year and half have raised a concern in the state, among wild life experts, media and many others who love and care for animals, that there is a need to increase steps to prevent these deaths to happen. Madhya Pradesh is tiger state some wild life experts feel that there is a need of wild life health centre in the state and also build capacity within the state on the knowledge levels on wild life. Gautam’s deaths has once again brought this discussion to forefront, but hope this remains and some steps are taken in this regard or lest we forget Gautam’s death and till next time which may or may not even give us this opportunity ?

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