A Royal Bengal Tiger in the Royal Botanical Park

Photo courtesy:     Royal Botanical park and Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division, DoFPS.
Photo courtesy: Royal Botanical park and Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division, DoFPS.

The officials of Royal Botanical Park at Lamperi, Thimphu recently confirmed the presence of Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera Tigris) inside the park area when they got hold of video evidence at Thadana at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level. This was further augmented with numerous other evidences such as pug mark, scat, hair and the leftover carcasses.

According to the officials, the image had been captured a couple of years ago. The image confirmation, however, could be done only recently because the monitoring team couldn’t read the memory in the video mode. “It happened because during our camera monitoring, the team didn’t have a compatible card reader like a laptop except for a digital camera,” said the Park’s official.

According to Park’s senior forester, Phub Dorji, the camera traps were set up in different directions and in different capturing modes. The particular tiger was captured by the camera trap set up in video mode. “The digital camera didn’t show files recorded in video mode,” said Phub Dorji. He added, “We scanned all the pictures captured by different cameras.”

However, the park official recently received the image file from Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) who chanced upon it while checking their SD card.

Couple of years ago, the park officials with the support of RSPN Bhutan set up camera traps in the area. This was done in response to a complaint lodged by a cattle herder in the area of his livestock getting increasingly depredated by the tiger.

The team comprising of officials from Wildlife Conservation Division (WCD) and Royal Botanical Park (RBP), Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) visited the site and investigated the livestock depredation case.

The affected household Tandin claimed that he lost four cattle and few horses to the tiger roaming in the jungle. He also reported that he heard a tiger roaring at dusk numerous times and he had personally encountered a tigress (female tiger) with two cubs sitting on a huge rock.

The team after confirming that the kill was made by the tiger compensated the affected herder. “However, we could not compensate the horses he claimed to have also lost to the tiger,” Phub Dorji said adding, “The claim lacked evidences unlike the cattle.”

 

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