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With relocated tigers, Sariska throbs again
ALWAR (RAJASTHAN)/New Delhi, OCT 4 (IANS/PTI)
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Published on 4 Oct. 2010 11:35 PM IST
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: The tigers have brought tourists back to Sariska. The tiger reserve in Rajasthan, which had lost its sheen after its tigers went missing, opened to a great response from wildlife enthusiasts and holiday makers this year, thanks to five big cats relocated here.
The Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district, which opened to the public Oct 1, earned over `300,000 from the sale of entry tickets in the first two days alone, according to official figures.
The Sariska reserve, some 110 km from state capital Jaipur, opens to the public Oct 1 through to June 30 every year. It is closed during the monsoon months.
While Indians are charged Rs.60 as entry fee, foreigners pay `450. As many as 7,000 people visited the park Saturday, a day when entry is free for Alwar residents.
The reserve Sunday attracted 1,200 wildlife enthusiasts, forest officials said.
“We are really happy that Sariska has once again started to attract tourists,” a senior forest official said.
A report by the Wildlife Institute of India in March 2005 confirmed that there were indeed no tigers left in Sariska Tiger Reserve, and found poaching to be one of the main reasons for this.
Facing flak from different quarters, the Rajasthan government decided to relocate tigers from Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur district to Sariska. And from 2008 till now, five tigers -- two males and three females -- have been relocated to the reserve.
The Sariska Tiger Reserve, originally a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state, was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. Spread across 866 sq km, it was declared a tiger reserve in 1978.
Some of the other wildlife found in the reserve include leopards, jungle cats, hyenas, jackals, chitals, sambars, langurs, wild boars, four-horned deer and several species of birds.
A day soon when human skin will be traded: SC
The Supreme Court on Monday expressed concern over declining population of tigers and lashed out at notorious poacher Sansar Chand, who has been convicted for trading animal’s body parts, saying a day would come soon when human skin will be traded for commercial purposes.
“You are selling the skin of tigers and leopards. Tomorrow, you would sell even human skin. In this way, the population of tigers and leopards would be wiped out in the country. There would be no tiger left in Sariska,” a bench of Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur said while dealing with the appeal of Chand.
The apex court rejected the arguments of his counsel that he was not involved in poaching.
“You are all interested in money. You want only money. Everything in the country is commercial. Today, people will sell the skin of animal, tomorrow they would start selling human skin also,” the bench said while adjourning the matter for final disposal.
The Supreme Court had on July 5 sought a response from Rajasthan government on a parole plea of Chand who is serving a five-year jail term for smuggling leopard skins in 2003.
Chand, who is undergoing the jail-term in a case related to smuggling of claws, skin, teeth and other animal parts in Bhilwara in 2003, had filed a special leave petition (SLP) last year in the apex court challenging his conviction.

 
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