ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Human–Animal Conflicts in India

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The Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR)— known for its rich ecosystem diversity within the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL)—is often subject to human–animal conflict. Over the past few decades, TAL has come under pressure owing to the swift rise in human population around the wildlife corridor followed by large-scale land-use conversions, decrease in forest cover, pilgrim shrines attracting religious travellers, and disturbance in the ecological balance of the region. The buffer zone between tiger habitats and agricultural landscape remains ineffective as the tigers easily stray into sugarcane fields as their favourite hideout. On the other hand, the significant rise in tiger population in the region from eight in 2010 to 28 tigers in 2014 and 31 in 2018 with shrinking natural habitats and territorial fights among the animals has increased the chances of human–animal conflict. The actual conflicts arise when animals come out of their natural habitat and start attacking the vulnerable.

Recently a three-year-old “man-eater” tiger named T-104 was shot dead in the VTR as an act of self-defence. Probably, this three-year-old cub had been driven out by the older tigers from the core region forcing it to enter the human territory in search of food and habitat resulting in a conflict with humans and being labelled as a “man-eater.” The state had issued orders to shoot this tiger on the spot and claims to have acted in good faith and as a means to protect the villagers. Though the primary duty of the state was to protect and safeguard the wildlife, it is well evident that tigers received no protection from those whose primary duty was to refrain from attacking it.

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Updated On : 30th Nov, 2022
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