Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the ‘All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018’ on occasion of the International Tigers Day on Monday. The Prime Minister said that ‘with around 3,000 tigers, India is one of safest habitats for them in world.’ Talking about the history of the unique initiative to save the big cats, PM Modi said that, ‘It was decided in St Petersburg that target of doubling tiger population would be 2022, we achieved it 4 years in advance. Giving out the details, PM Modi said that, ‘In 5 years, number of protected areas increased from 692 to over 860, community reserves from 43 to over 100.’ Giving a filmy twist to the message of conservation of population of tigers in India, Modi said that, ‘The story which started from 'Ek Tha Tiger' and reached to 'Tiger Zinda hai', shouldn't end there.’
Though PM may say India is ‘safest place’ for tigers, the ground reality is different. On Friday, an adult tigress was brutally beaten to death inside Pilibhit reserve in Uttar Pradesh. In one of the ugliest man-animal conflicts in recent times, a fully-grown tigress was brutally thrashed to death inside Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Reserve. The incident was captured on camera that showed the angry villagers circling and beating the tigress with lathis. Shocking details in the post-mortem report revealed the extent of the unimaginable horror faced by the big cat. According to a report by The Hindustan Times, it was a five-year-old adult tigress. The report said that the villagers were angry after the tigress reportedly injured a man.
Meanwhile, the Modi government told Parliament that India lost 60 elephants and eight tigers to train accidents in the last three years. Responding to a query on death of animals due to train accidents, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said movement of wild animals in search of food and water brings them in close proximity to railway lines, leading to accidental deaths. According to the data provided by the minister, 60 elephants, eight tigers and one lion were killed in train accidents between 2016 and 2018-19.