'Multiple evidences available showing presence of tigers in North Bengal'

Darjeeling: The Forest department is not willing to buy the National Tiger Conservation (NTC) report stating that there is no presence of Royal Bengal Tigers in the districts of North Bengal.

Ravi Kant Sinha, principal chief conservator of forests, wildlife and chief wildlife warden, Bengal stated: "We have gone through the report. There is presence of tigers in the Neora Valley National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve in North Bengal. At the time of the tiger census there was political unrest in the Hills and no census work had been undertaken at Neora. During census at Buxa, there were enough evidences of the presence of tigers."

Though the report talks of 88 tigers in Sunderbans, the Forest department claims that there are more than 100 tigers roaming the mangrove jungles, said Sinha.

"We are not very satisfied with the NTC report. There have been numerous photographs of tiger sightings in Neora since 2017. We fail to understand how this report was prepared," stated Animesh Basu, member of the state wildlife board.

A forester said: "At times we have sighted pug marks of 17 to 18 cm at Bhutiabastee in Jayanti, Hatipota, Phaskhawa and Bhutanghat areas in and around Buxa. They cannot be pug marks of leopards."

Along with this, foresters have time and again found tiger kills. Recently, camera traps laid in Gamtangpu above Lachen in North Sikkim at an altitude of 3,600m have captured the picture of a Royal Bengal tiger.

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