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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Royal Bengal Tigers spotted at 10,509 feet in Neora Valley National Park, confirming unique habitat

The image was taken at Rachela Dabda in the hills last October and is one of the few images of the species found in the secluded isolated forest belt in the past couple of years: official

PTI Calcutta Published 28.12.23, 08:28 PM
A photo of a royal Bengal tiger clicked by the trap camera during the day at Rachela Danda in Neora Valley National Park of Kalimpong in November.

A photo of a royal Bengal tiger clicked by the trap camera during the day at Rachela Danda in Neora Valley National Park of Kalimpong in November. Pictures courtesy: Gorumara Wildlife Division, Bengal forest Department

The fresh image of a Royal Bengal Tiger, taken via trap cameras at the Neora Valley National Park in the hills of West Bengal, has confirmed the presence of the big cats at an altitude of 10,509 feet above sea level, according to a senior forest department official on Thursday.

The image was taken at Rachela Dabda in the hills last October and is one of the few images of the species found in the secluded isolated forest belt in the past couple of years, chief wildlife warden Debal Roy told PTI.

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"There must be more than one Royal Bengal Tiger present in the area, as two camera trap images do not indicate the presence of the same tiger in the same spot. A recent survey confirmed the presence of more than 10 animals of the cat species in the belt, and every recent camera trap included an image of at least one Royal Bengal Tiger," explained Roy.

When asked how tigers can climb up to such high altitudes, he said, "Tigers can move up to such heights. There have been cases of tigers present in Arunachal mountains. There have been reports of tiger presence in Sikkim." He also said the animals can adapt well to the freezing temperatures in the hills.

Roy elaborated that the tigers might use the corridor ranging from the hilly jungle belt between the Mahananda forest range and the Neora Valley.

When asked about the reason for leaving out the big cats spotted in the area in the 2022 tiger census or in the past, Roy said, "We have informed the Centre about the presence of tigers in Neora Valley. The area is part of the countrywide tiger enumeration exercise." However, he said the exact or possible number of Royal Bengal Tigers in Neora Valley has not yet been determined or assessed.

"While there is a possibility of little man-animal conflict, considering the solitariness of the area, the sparsely populated neighborhood, and the unique topographical and climatic conditions, we still regularly undertake sensitization campaigns against poaching and wildlife trafficking among local residents," added the senior forest official.

According to the last count, there are 101 tigers in West Bengal, all tracked in the Sunderbans Tiger Belt and its contiguous areas.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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