Kerala Minister Suggests Culling Tigers to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict

1: ak saseendran, kerala’s wildlife minister, suggested that his government might consider culling tigers in order to reduce the number of animals straying into human habitats. in 1972, a federal wildlife protection law was put in place to make it illegal to kill or capture tigers, india’s national animal. a man in the mananthavady forest range in wayanad district of kerala was attacked by a tiger, leading to his death.

2: minister saseendran said that the suggestion to cull the animal came from those who attended a meeting to discuss a way out, but that he was not in a hurry to do so. praveen bhargav, a former member of the national board for wildlife, noted that a recently amended section of the national wildlife act does not permit the declaration of tigers “as vermin”. there is a provision in the law “in case of serious human-wildlife conflict” where a state’s chief wildlife warden can allow a tiger to be hunted “after being satisfied that it cannot be tranquilised or translocated”.

3: dr ullas karanth, a conservationist and tiger expert, has stated that population growth of tigers over the past 50 years has only increased by a thousand, far below capacity. in some areas, such as parts of eastern and northeast india, tigers have become virtually extinct due to excessive hunting. madhav gadgil, a renowned environmentalist, argued that india should allow “rational hunting” of animals in order to control their numbers. there were intense protests from the local population after the man was killed in the tiger attack, demanding that the tiger be killed. the suggestion to cull tigers also received support from madhav gadgil.

By Evey Lovelace

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