THE VANISHING TIGER TRAIL
In 2005, wildlife lovers were shocked when poachers had wiped out the entire tiger population at the reserve The seriousness of the issue could be gauged from the fact that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a two- day meeting of forest officials and experts in Ranthambhore to discuss ways to protect wildlife, especially tigers A task force was set up, which submitted its recommendations to the Centre. The Rajasthan government too constituted a task force, which also submitted a report. On experts’ recommendation, an initiative to shift tigers in Sariska from Ranthambhore was taken up. Eight tigers were translocated between 2008 and 2012, of whom one was poisoned in 2010. It was enough to ring alarm bells, but no lessons seems to have been learnt. The guards at the reserve still lack basic firearms and rely on batons to take on poachers and villagers In the absence of proper electronic surveillance, the officials have to rely on the age- old methods of tracking tigers with the help of their pugmarks.