Mandideep (Madhya Pradesh): The number of tigers in Ratapani area in Mandideep has doubled since 2018, said forest officials.
In 2018, there were 35 tigers, but now, their number has shot up to 72 including 12 cubs, they said.
According to locals, the setting of Rata Pani is suitable for breeding tigers which can move around 20-25km area.
There is adequate drinking water and kills for the big cats, besides, they added.
The reserved forest area in Ratapani is adjacent to the borders of Bhopal, Sehore and Raisen districts.
According to the divisional forest officer Vijay Kumar, the number of tigers has continued to increase because of natural environment and food they are getting.
The challenges are also increasing, as the forest department has to pay attention to protect the tigers, he said.
Superintendent of Ratapani forest said that the rising number of tigers has increased the responsibilities of the foresters.
The department has imposed a ban on hunting as well as arranged for grasslands and wetlands, he said.
A tigress that keeps her cubs in secret places till they are able to hunt needs more security, he said.
There are 200 cameras that watch the movements of tigers and their 12 cubs, he said, adding that cameras helped the department to watch the movements of tigers as well as of other animals.
The most important thing is to stop trafficking of the body parts of tigers, and as the forest area is adjacent to the National Highways 12 and 69, the responsibility to provide security to big cats increases, he further said.
Movements of men in and around the Ratapani forest have posed danger to tigers, he said.
There are 32 villages around 972 square km forest area of Ratapani, and to rehabilitate those who are living in those forest is on top priority of the forest department.
According to a survey, conducted between 2008 and 2011 973 families living in nine villages around the forest have been selected for displacement, the official said.
The incidents of man animal-clash are also increasing in the area, so the forest department has to take care of that, the officials said.
If a tiger kills a pet animal the department gives compensation to the person whose livestock is killed, said Kumar.
Apart from that, no incident of clashes among tigers has so far been reported from the area, and this has been another reason for increase in number of tigers, Kumar added.
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