Wednesday, April 08, 2009

tigers of india: fearful symmetry

BANDHAVGAR AND PANNA, India — One sunny afternoon in March, officers of the Madhya Pradesh forest department crept up on a majestic Bengal tiger relaxing in the Bandhavgar National Park and shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

The tigress was then loaded into a truck and driven 150 miles — a trip of eight hours or so on India's rough roads — to the Panna Tiger Reserve.
The move was billed as one of the most modern and proactive steps that India's forest department has taken to protect the country's fast disappearing tigers.

But leading conservationists here say the truck might as well have driven the tranquilized beast all the way to China — the final destination of almost all the tigers that are killed by poachers. The Panna Reserve is no great place for tigers: Poachers abound, researchers claim the management there is inept, and the park has lost about 40 tigers the past five years.

--read on at

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