Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - YOURSPACE -

Had it not been for the me­dia, not many in the coun­try would have known about the killing of ti­gress Avni and the or­phan­ing of her two cubs.

Things have reached such a pass that the for­est depart­ment is killing tigers. How did this hap­pen? Ob­vi­ously, more for­est land is be­ing cleared ei­ther for cul­ti­va­tion or hous­ing or fac­to­ries or ex­press­ways. In our city’s case, a Metro yard at the Aarey colony.

Where are the wild an­i­mals sup­posed to go? They foray into hu­man set­tle­ments look­ing for food. This has been cap­tured on cam­era in ar­eas ad­join­ing the San­jay Gandhi Na­tional Park. We hu­mans must stop this tres­pass­ing into their for­est ar­eas. They have rights too.

It’s ironic that Project Tiger re­sulted in an in­crease in the tiger pop­u­la­tion in In­dia but di­min­ish­ing for­est cover is caus­ing man-an­i­mal con­flict as a re­sult. We can­not be this self­ish and short-sighted. In­dia is the home of the tiger. If we don’t pro­tect it, no one else can.

Su­nil Achutan

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