Nagpur: It’s exactly a year since Jai, the iconic tiger, went missing from the Umred-Karhandla wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra. Although the big cat was radio-collared, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has failed to locate it.
On Tuesday, a candlelight vigil was taken out in Nagpur by members of the Conservation Lenses and Wildlife (CLaW), an independent group of wildlife lovers and photographers, to put pressure on the government to trace the tiger. The group has also announced a Rs 50,000 reward for anyone who gives information about the big cat.
Vinit Arora, an avid wildlife photographer said, “Nobody is being held accountable. There’s no effort by forest department officials to locate the tiger.”
Mohammad Junaid, also a wildlife photographer, said the National Tiger Conservation Authority, which had set up a three-member committee to trace Jai, should come up with its report.
Less than 5% of tigers in India are monitored through radio collars, which is an expensive technology.
The low use of imported collars is primarily because of its high cost — about Rs 4 lakh apiece — and high maintenance. Just a battery, which needs to be replaced every year, has a price tag of about Rs 50,000.