The Gujarat government on Tuesday confirmed they have a tiger in the state, PTI reported. The confirmation came days after a school teacher had said he saw a tiger crossing a road near Boriya village in Mahisagar district.
“It has now been confirmed. A tiger in the age-group of 7 to 8 years has been seen in Mahisagar district,” Gujarat Forest Minister Ganpatsinh Vasava said in Gandhinagar. He added that the tiger was caught on cameras that had been set up in the Lunwad-Santrampur forest after photographs taken by the teacher went viral on social media. The tiger was last seen in the state in 1989. Government surveys since have not shown any indications of tigers in the state, Vasava said.
Vasava added that the tiger may have come from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or Maharashtra. “The Madhya Pradesh government has said that a tiger has gone missing from Ujjain,” the minister said. “It is possible that the tiger seen here can be from any of these neighbouring states which have tigers. We are yet to ascertain if that area was the tiger’s permanent residence or whether it migrated from neighbouring states. It is certain that Gujarat is also a part of tiger’s natural corridor.”
The state government will receive assistance from the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India, he added.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Akshay Saxena said pugmarks and the tiger’s hair were earlier found in the area. “Later, camera traps were set up and we have now got visual evidence of a tiger in the area,” Saxena said. “It is not necessary that we will find the tiger in the same area, so we will continue to keep a watch.”