Tiger census soon, says minister; opposition alleges govt inaction to curb wildlife attacks

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1. Representative image, 2. Minister AK Saseendran | Photo: AFP, Mathrubhumi archives

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala forest minister AK Saseendran said that a census of tigers and wild elephants will be conducted soon. He reiterated that the tigers posing threat to humans will be transferred to the Periyar and Parambikulam reserves.

In a reply to the adjournment motion moved by the opposition in the Assembly on Wednesday, the minister stated that measures will be taken to prevent wildlife attacks after conducting a scientific study.

The opposition staged a walkout on Wednesday alleging that the government was not taking steps to protect people’s lives and property from wild animals.

Saseendran said that the census of tigers and wild elephants will begin soon. As many as 637 people have died in wild animal attacks in the past five years. Over 2,000 wild pigs have so far been killed after panchayats were permitted to shoot the pigs that were creating crop damage, the minister said.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan criticised the minister and said that the government was waiting to conduct studies when people were living in fear of wildlife like never before.

Articles published in Mathrubhumi newspaper were also part of the discussion regarding wildlife attacks in the state. Mathrubhumi managing director MV Shreyams Kumar’s article, published on January 15, and Madhav Gadgil’s interview, published on January 22, were mentioned in the Assembly by Sunny Joseph MLA.

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