The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Train runs over tigress in national park

Lucknow, May 30: In times when the Prime Minister is himself going tiger-spotting and a headcount in national parks is throwing up alarming figures, a tigress has been done to death by a running train.

On Saturday night, a full-grown big cat was caught in the wheels of the Aishbag-Tinsukia passenger in Dudhwa National Park, 260 km from here, sparking a fresh outcry against the train track in the park.

The dismembered carcass was found this morning about 3 km from the accident site near the Sonaripur forest area. The train driver informed forest officials about the incident.

“This morning, two senior forest officers led by the park’s deputy director, P.P. Singh, spotted the carcass at a place about 3 km from where it was run over by the train,” forest ranger Abadh Behari said.

This is the third instance of a big cat being run over in the national park, the only one in Uttar Pradesh, which has about 140 tigers, a forest officer said. Elephants have also met with a similar fate, he added, citing the running over of three cubs by a goods train last June.

Big cat lovers had made a big noise in 1987 after eight tigers were found poisoned in the Dudhwa park and two run over by trains. They had demanded that the tracks be removed as trains made it easier for poachers to access the park.

The latest death has stoked the embers again.

Veteran animal lover Billy Arjun Singh ' he was nicknamed “Billy” by his aunt because of his love for big cats ' has written to the Centre and the state government to have the train tracks diverted.

“In a forest, tiger is God. If God does not exist in the forest, the latter would perish. I have been fighting against the railway line since Mrs Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister but there has been no response. Nearly 28 trains pass through the forest, killing animals,” Billy said.

Most often, tigers try to cross the tracks to get to a pond to drink water and get run over, he said.

Billy was recently felicitated by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for his contribution to tiger conservation.

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