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Relocation of Tiger T24, Ustad from Ranthambore National Park
I am writing with regarding to the relocation of the Tiger T24 and incarcerated in a zoo without the permission of the NTCA.
Could you please read the following information and look forward to your comments.
1. Location of attack – Was the attack inside the tiger reserve, or outside?
Valmik Thapar on NDTV, with 40 years of experience as a camerman but has no qualification to be a Tiger expert, declared that this attack on May 8, 2015
was “outside the park, on the main road leading to the Ganesh temple”. This seems to be a lie, trying to indicate that Ustad can be a threat to pilgrims
using the main road, and thereby whip up local support. Here, it is interesting to note that RTR is one of the parks with virtually NO buffer zone in certain
areas, as it is encircled by resorts and villages. Resorts have acquired such land and deprived the reserve of buffer zones.
2. Was the guard on foot patrol duty? Why was he where a tiger was sitting?
The unfortunate victim, Rampal, was not allotted foot patrol duty. He was supposed to be manning the gate, entering the details of vehicles going into the
park. Apparently, he let his wife go inside the park to collect firewood/fodder, and it was she who reportedly encountered the tiger at close quarters. When she ran back to report this to Rampal, he seems to have abandoned his post to seek out the tiger. Obviously, it is rather common knowledge that a tiger could be seen anywhere in the park – so why did Rampal go to check? Some say that it is a regular practice in RTR for guards to make a quick buck by showing off tigers to visitors – they call jeep drivers on their cellphones to tip them off, and get tipped in return. Did Rampal lose his life in the bargain? Other guards too went with him, but they seem to have split up in locating the tiger, a cardinal error – foot patrols are always in groups for this reason. But this was not a foot patrol!
3. Eyewitness Accounts
It was initially reported that the tiger involved in the incident was Sultan, or T72. One of the forest guards with whom Rampal ha set out, Hukumchand, reported this (and even Anish Andheria of Sanctuary Asia reported this, after speaking to his sources). The testimony seems to have been changed later, perhaps under duress? Only Hukumchand knows!
4. Post-incident response
Local experts spend more than an hour after the incident, Ustad is seen visiting the site of the attack, sniffing the area. Any tiger would sense the scent of an attack, and Ustad would naturally investigate an incident in his territory. He could’ve even had blood on his paws, from walking through the scene of the attack. It is well known that Sultan, T72, also regularly inhabits the same territory. The local experts who witnessed Ustad’s activities were a hotelier/naturalist and a Wildlife biologist working for an NGO, who seemed to have jumped onto Forest Dept. vehicles heading towards the site. Why were these ‘non-officials’ present on an official mission? And did they need to broadcast their views on social media, when the conclusions of any official mission can only be reached after much study?Ustad was implicated in previous human deaths (the last one in 2012), but continued to remain in the park – the forest dept., local villages and pilgrims, guides and drivers – all directly affected parties – chose not to blame Ustad, and did not agitate/riot/demonstrate. Obviously, these deaths were considered as accidental attacks, not deliberate, as all three victims had ventured on foot inside the reserve, ignoring safety norms. The first two were illegal tree cutters, the last a forester.It seems easy for them to have put two and two together here – a known offender lurking around the site of a killing, and based on this purely CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, is branded the killer.
Rampal had injuries consistent with a tiger grabbing him by the neck. His body was not eaten! The tiger seems to have attacked reactively, and then dropped the body and vanished. Not man-eating behavior at all! A true man-eater would have tried to drag the body deeper into the forest for an undisturbed meal. Even the NTCA guidelines mention that if a tiger kills a human accidentally, the tiger may even eat some parts of the body, but this in itself does not make him a man-eater.To declare a tiger as a man-eater needs due process to be followed – i.e. constitute an expert committee, monitor the cat’s movements, track or radio-collar the tiger, document its behavior, etc. No such investigation for Ustad!
6. Vested interests
What could be the vested interests?
a. Ustad is older, and appears infrequently in front of tourists. His ‘tourism’ value is down. However, he is occupying prime property in the reserve. Better to have Sultan in his territory – Sultan is a very young, tourist –friendly tiger. But has not been seen since April.
b. They tried to blame Sultan but that is another lie as Sultan is missing. Some of these experts have voiced the opinion that “there are too many male tigers in the park”. (NTCA would never approve moving tigers to balance gender-inequalities). Removing Ustad reduces that number by three, as both his cubs are male too. So it looks like killing three birds with one stone. And since the cubs are unnamed, nobody will create a ruckus when they disappear, as they are sure to be killed by a rival male. And apart from Sultan (if still alive), there are apparently two other males which may try to take over Ustad’s territory.
d. It is said that there were commercial interests too in keeping Ustad in Sajjangarh – he would be a major tourist attraction, and can boost the business of the hotel industry in the area (some Ranthambore hotel owners are allegedly planning a luxury resort in the area).
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Save T 24 Ustad Tiger Of Ranthambore From Captivity
We need freedom of Ustad
I am blessed with a Ustad’s #T24, I spent time with the Ustad that I can not forget in my life. Who brought me so close to nature, I never see a gentle like a tiger in its natural habitat, and neither I have ever seen man nor animal . Ustad had nothing to do with anyone, he was just enjoying nature in its fun, and I was able to capture from the eye of my lens.
Who says Ustad is a man eater. … Unfortunately, greedy people are putting on him allegations. …..
On May 8, 2015, Rampal Saini, a Forest Guard at the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajashthan, was allegedly mauled and killed by a tiger, while he was patrolling the forest. The killing has been attributed to a male tiger T-24, christened Ustad, though no one saw the tiger commit the act. Some so-called local experts zeroed in on Ustad as the culprit, as he is known to be an aggressive tiger, with a history of previous alleged attacks. Many vested interests want this tiger removed:
1. Ranthambore tiger Reserve sees thousands of pilgrims walking through the park every Wednesday to visit a temple. This brings in a lot of money to local businesses.
2. Illegal grazing, logging, etc cannot continue in the reserve for fear of this aggressive tiger.
3. Someone is instigating the forest guards to strike work, and local leaders are threatening to create a law-and-order problem.
A local committee of so-called experts has persuaded the CM of Rajasthan to release an order for capture and relocation of this magnificent animal to a zoo. They have allegedly informed the CM that the tiger is a man-eater, and have even attributed attacks by other tigers to Ustad to strengthen the case. Today, the tiger has been tranquilized, and will be ferried away soon. I implore your goodself to take proper action, to prevent the tiger’s relocation. Sadly, if this tiger goes, his two cubs, whom he protects, will soon fall prey to other male tigers encroaching into his territory. Hope you can help Ustad.
Credit — https://www.change.org
Sign the Petition from here to Save him – Sign Petition To Save T24
For one, under orders from the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, there was an extraordinarily swift response by the Forest Department. Though initially it was presumed that the cat responsible was T72 (Sultan), about 30 minutes after the incident, T24, already under the scanner for three human deaths, was sighted at the exact spot, apparently searching for the body, which had by then been removed. The whole saga started from here. And it opened up massive, emotional debates that polarised wildlife lovers. – See more at: http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/magazines/conservation/9955-ranthambhores-ustad-saga.html#sthash.OvhUbxX1.dpuf
‘Ustad’ was branded a ‘man-eater’ after he mauled to death a forest guard on May 8. Within days of the incident, he was drugged and translocated 530 km from Ranthambore to the Udaipur park, considered a rescue centre.
But for the tiger, now caught in transit between his natural habitat and a zoo, a return to the Ranthambore forest, to his female companion and her cubs, is still a long way off. On the brighter side for the big cat, a Vacation Bench, led by Justice A.K. Sikri, has ordered status quo. That means, the tiger stays on at the biological park until the Rajasthan High Court decides his fate. The High Court will hear his case on May 28.
This urgent hearing came on a petition filed by Chandra Bhal Singh, a Pune resident and tiger lover. The hearing itself was a rare gesture from the Supreme Court, which only considers urgent matters during the summer break. Mr. Singh, through counsel Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique, said ‘Ustad’ had only acted in self-defence when the guard trespassed into his territory.
The tiger, he said, had merely acted to protect his family. His absence from the tiger reserve spelt danger to the tigress and the cubs left helpless in the wild, he said.
He blamed the National Tiger Conservation Authority for acting in haste, under pressure of public opinion and without conducting any scientific probe or understanding the circumstances of the attack.
Credit — http://www.thehindu.com/
WE SIGNED: “KING OF RANTHAMBORE” DYING IN A ZOO, UNABLE TO PROTECT CUBS – RETURN TIGER T24 TO THE WILD!
Request to sign the petition — Sign The Petition To Return T24 To Wild
Calls – Athene brama
Introduction: The Spotted Owlet is a small, white-spotted greyish-brown to brown owl with a round head, yellow eyes and prominent white eyebrows.
[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]
Description: [Note: following description is for raceindica, nominate race brama is generally darker and smaller] The facial disc is creamy-buff with brown concentric lines. The forehead and lores are white to pale buffy. Eyebrows are white and curved. Eyes are pale to deep golden-yellow. The sides of the face are dark, contrasting with white rear edges. The cere is dusky green or greenish brown, the bill being greenish-horn, but sometimes darker, and somtimes more yellow on the upper ridge. The crown, sides of the head, and upperparts are earth-brown to greyish or rufescent, marked with small white spots. The nape has very large white spots, forming a collar, while the back has large white spots, and the scapulars have broad white edges. The chin, throat, and front and sides of the neck are white, with a dark brown band below this. The remainder of the underparts are whitish, spotted and mottled with brown, sometimes with broken bars.
The wings are spotted and banded white, and the tail has narrow white bars.
The tarsi is feathered, and the toes bristled and dirty yellowish. Claws are dark horn, and soles yellowish.
Size: Length 19-21cm. Wing length 143-171mm. Tail length 65-93mm. Weight 110-114g. females usually larger than males.
Habits: Generally crepuscular and nocturnal, but sometimes seen by day. Roosts by day in tree hole or on a branch. May roost in pairs or small groups. Flight is deeply undulating, consisting of a few rapid flaps followed by a glide with wings pressed to the body.
Voice: A harsh screeching chirurrr-chirurrr-chirurrr…followed by, or alternating with cheevak, cheevak, cheevak and a variety of other screeches and chuckles.
Hunting & Food: Mainly preys upon beetles, moths and other insects. Also takes earthworms, lizards, mice and small birds. Usually hunts from a perch, pouncing on prey, but occasionally takes insects in flight. Often uses street lamps as hunting bases, hawking insects attracted to the lights.
Breeding: Northern races breed from February to April, while Southern races breed from November to March. Nests are in natural tree hollows, or in holes and cavaties in human dwellings. May also nest in cavities in the sides of ravines and earth cliffs when suitable trees are scarce. The nest is sometimes liked with grass and feathers.
3-5, sometimes 5 white, roundish oval eggs are laid (average 32.2 x 27.1mm), with incubation begining with the first egg. This causes the young to hatch asynchronously, resulting in a considerable size difference within the brood.
Habitat: Open or semi-open country, including semi-desert. Within and on outskirts of villages and cultivation, groves with old trees, and ruins. This species avoids thick forest. Lives from sea-level to about 1400m.
Distribution: Southern Asia, from Iran to Vietnam. Present on most of the Indian subcontinent (except Sri Lanka) and Southeast Asia, except peninsular Thailand and Malaysia.
Distribution of the Spotted Owlet Athene brama
Status: Generally common.
Original Description: Temminck, Coenraed Jacob & Laugier de Chartrouse, (Baron) Meiffren. 1821. Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d’oiseau pour servir de suite et de complément aux planches enluminées de Buffon, livraison 12, pl. 68.
Subspecies: A. b. brama, A. b. indica, A. b. mayri, A. b. albida, A. b. pulchra, A. b. ultra
Photo credit Manjot Singh
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