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05 March, 2008

Tigers 'return' to haunt Devarayanadurga

Dear WANCers,

The Tigers of Devarayanadurga have always haunted nature lovers visiting this place so as many of our 'Tiger Conservationists'. The later deny their existence or attribute them to captive tigers being released by travelling circuses or others. What ever the truth is, the tigers of Devarayanadurga don't seem to go away as quickly as our 'tiger conservationists' want them to. Please read the latest 'sighting' below.

Tigress with two cubs spotted in Devarayanadurga State Forest
20th February 2008 :
Early morning by 00.30 hrs ie., 19th midnight (at 12.30am) Assistant Conservator of Forests, Tumkur Sub-Division Sri T V Srinivas and Range Forest Officer, Tumkur Range Sri. M N Naik along with a guard Ganganna K C, spotted a Tigress with two cubs near Shanimahatma Temple and Ganesh Temple along Belagumba - Oordigere road inside Devarayanadurga state forest. They were returning back to Tumkur from DDSF. According to Srinivas, he says he was thrilled to see a tiger in the wild. He says the majestic look of tiger can never be forgotten. He was driving his car from DDSF. Car passed the tigeress which was spotted on the road side. Two cubs ran away when the light of the car head light fall on the animal. They took the car reverse and focused the headlight on the Tigress which was sitting with out bothering about the car for about 5 minutes. It did not move from the spot it seems. After some time they raised the engine noise, the tiger gently raised and tried to climb the elevated area. It failed to climb and retook another direction.

According to Naik, who to his credit has worked in tiger reserves like Bhadra and Anashi - Dandeli, claims the visibility of tigress was very clear as the headlight was focused on the animal. He says the stripes on the body were very clear and the head was quite big compared to Leopard. Since they had the opportunity to see the animal for a long time he explains every part very clearly. According to him the cubs were of one and half foot height and the tigress was over 3 ft in height. He says only a tiger could sit such a long time with calm in spite knowing that some one is watching. The whiskers were very prominent and the and the markings on the face were prominent. Next day morning RFO along with few guards tried for the pug mark. Since it is summer and the soil was hard they could locate the pugmarks but were not very clear. No documentation made of the pug mark.
Honorary Wildlife Warden, Govt. of Karnataka
Tumkur District
For more/related information, please see:
The following story based on this incident appeared in the Times of India (Bangalore on Mar 7, 2008

Tigress seen in Tumkur forest

You don't have to go too far from the city to spot a tiger. In 2000, a team of biodiversity experts engaged in mapping the medicinal plants nursery in a forest patch in Tumkur district were stunned to spot tiger pug marks and fresh scat in the area.

This discovery proved the existence of tigers in Devarayanadurga reserve forests in Tumkur. Moreover, the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, confirmed the scat found in Tumkur was that of a tiger.

Eight years later, on the night of February 19, a forest official team spotted a tigress along with her two cubs at Belagumba Beat in Namadachilume, Devarayanadurga Reserve Forest.

The forest night beat, led by assistant conservator of forests,Tumkur division, T V Srinivas, along with range forest officer, M NNaik and guard K C Ganganna, spotted a tigress with two cubs at Namadachiluve, near Shanimahatma temple along Belagumba-Oordigere Road. This was inside the Devarayanadurga forest.

"We were thrilled to see a tiger family in the wild. We havealready recorded it in the log books. A letter will be submitted to the higher-ups in a day or two,'' said Naik, Tumkur range RFO. When the vehicle passed, the cubs ran away. They reversed and focused the headlight on the tigress, which was sitting without bothering aboutthe vehicle for 5 minutes. "The visibility of tigress was very clearas the headlight was focused on the animal. The next morning, we tried to check the pug marks, but could not since the soil was dry,'' Naik added.

Spread across 41 sq km, Devarayanadurga forest is home to leopards,sloth bears, wild boars and spotted deer. Sambar and tiger have beenspotted in the past. The previous tiger census conducted by the stateforest department recorded indirect sighting of tiger in the samereserve, since pug marks were noticed.

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