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Tiger sightings drop in Bandhavgarh 18 November, 2014
Tiger sightings for tourists in Tala zone of the renowned Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve have gone down since the commencement of the tourism season this year.
The Tala zone of the park is designated as 'premium' where tourists have to spend double the entry fee on grounds of higher chances of sighting of the striped cat.
Madhya Pradesh forest department claims that Tala has one of the highest densities of tiger in the country, something not corroborated by sightings.
Hoteliers and tour operators are worried that drop in sightings will force tourists to move to neighbouring Maharashtra, where the Tadoba Tiger Reserve has of late emerged the most promising place for tiger sighting.
Sources at Bandhavgarh said that as against the forest department's claim of 35 tigers in the 100 sq km Tala zone, only four tigers are being seen — the Mirchahani female, the Bandehi cub (male), the Bandehi cub (female) and the Rajbehera female. "Guides have to report tiger sighting in the register kept at the gate. The register has fewer entries compared to the summer months or the same time last year," said a guide on condition of anonymity.
Tadoba in Maharashtra, which was not even in the scene about two years ago, has now emerged as a very popular tiger sighting destination, he said adding that it could attract tourists from other parks where tiger sightings are low.
Field director, Bandhavgarh tiger reserve, CH Murlikrishna told HT, "It is true that tiger sightings have gone down in Tala zone of the park. However, tiger sightings have increased in the neighbouring Magadhi zone as tigers from Tala have shifted to Magadhi zone. About 25 tigers still remain in the Tala zone which is not open to tourists and are hence not seen by them."
Rahul Noronha, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, November 18, 2014
First Published: 21:43 IST(18/11/2014) | Last Updated: 21:49 IST(18/11/2014)       ]
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