Presence of tiger suspected in Goa sanctuary

Panaji: Pug marks found in the Anjunem dam catchment area indicate the presence of a Royal Bengal Tiger in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Sattari area of Goa, officials said.

Government officials and a senior environmentalist found the pug marks near the dam yesterday. State forest department has sent a team of experts to the site which will send the samples for analysis. "We request the locals not to venture near the site where the pugmarks were found," Deputy Conservator of Forest D N F Carvalho told PTI.

He said forensic analysis would establish whether the pugmarks were really of a tiger. Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar today however claimed that the pug marks were that of a tiger and a cub. Kerkar said that they were found in the catchment area of the dam. Locals living in the vicinity of the dam have also supported the claim as they have been hearing the tiger roar for a fortnight.

Kerkar said the presence of a tiger and cub has been noticed there since December 2010 when Pandurang Gawas, a local, and his son claimed to have seen the big cat crossing a road that passes along the dam. Interestingly, last year state forest department had recorded tiger pug marks in this area during the wildlife census conducted with the help of Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Yesterday, Parshuram Kambli, working on the dam, saw the pug marks and immediately informed senior officials. As per the last census, Goa had four tigers, but they generally come from sanctuaries in neighbouring Karnataka.