Tiger spotted in Gujarat after three decades, government confirms presence


The Gujarat government on Tuesday confirmed the presence of a tiger in the state, days after a man claimed he saw the big cat crossing a road in Mahisagar district. The carnivore, in the age-group of 7 to 8 years, was caught on cameras set up by the forest department. State forest minister Ganpatsinh Vasava on Tuesday said that the carnivore was caught on cameras set up by the forest department in that area. According to news agency PTI, a local government school teacher had last week claimed that he saw a tiger crossing a road near Boriya village in Mahisagar, around 120 km from here, on February 6. The teacher clicked the picture on his mobile phone and shared it with friends on social media platforms, which soon went viral. Based on the teachers claim, the forest department set up camera traps in that area to ascertain the reality of the claim. The striped animal was last seen in the state in 1989. Moreover, subsequent surveys carried out every four years by the central government also showed no presence of a tiger in the state. A census of 2001 had also declared that there were no tigers in the state. Ganpatsinh Vasava added that the tiger might have come from neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra, where the striped animals are found. Vasava said that the MP government has said that a tiger has gone missing from Ujjain and it is possible that the tiger may have come from any of these neighbouring states which have tiger population. The Gujarat government will contact the National Tiger Conservation Authority, which keeps the data of tigers across the country to know where the feline came from. The Wildlife Institute of India will also be involved in carrying out a survey in the area to find out if this region is conducive for tigers. As per the National Tiger Conservation Authority, in India tigers are found in the wild in 18 states, Gujarat not being among them.

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