Minister seeks CBI probe into missing of Jai, India's most beloved tiger

tiger-afp A reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for those who can provide information about Jai | AFP

Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar wants the CBI to investigate mysterious disappearance of a famous tiger from Vidarbha's Umred wildlife sanctuary. Mungantiwar met union home minister Rajnath Singh and requested him to order a CBI probe into the missing of Jai.

Jai, one of the biggest tigers in Asia, has been missing since April from Umred wildlife sanctuary near Nagpur.

Local BJP MP Nana Patole had made a statement that as there was no trace of Jai, the tiger might not be alive and suspected that he had been killed by poachers. Mundgantiwar said that the statement made by Patole was serious and hence CBI should take up this investigation and obtain evidence from the BJP leader.

Jai, a male tiger, was born in Nagzira sanctuary. It traveled around 100 to 120 kms and in June 2013, the camera traps revealed that he had entered Umred Karhad sanctuary. Since then he was regularly seen roaming in Umred Karhad sanctuary spread in Nagpur and Bhandara districts with an area of 189.29 sq kms.

As the tiger became popular among the wild-life lovers and tourists, the regional staff was monitoring his movements daily. Jai was often seen roaming in Brahmapuri forest range, Pavani forest range, north Umred and south Umred forest range. The tiger would require around 15 days to take one round across all this area, informed a media statement issued by Mungantiwar's office.

According to the communique, a team of experts led by Dr. Bilal Habib and Dr. Parag Nikam had attached a radio collar to Jai on September 15, 2015 to monitor its movement, to determine his territory and to ensure his safety. However, due to technical impairment, the satellite connection of the radio collar was broken, but his ground tracking was going on through VHF.

On March 18 this year, the team of Bilal Habib and Parag Nikam again attached a radio collar to him. This observation revealed that in his roaming in Brahmapuri forest division, a new area has been included. The new radio collar too was disconnected from the satellite on April 18. Efforts have been made through VHF for his ground tracking and also camera traps have been used to search him. But they have not been successful yet.

Though a team has been sent in search of him, no concrete evidence has emerged regarding Jai's movements so far. The forest department had announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to those who can provide information about the tiger.

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Topics : #Maharashtra

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