CALL FOR TIGERS TO BE PROTECTED.
Indian agency to protect tigers.
Official estimates of tiger numbers are said to be an exaggeration. The Indian government is planning to set up a task force to protect tigers in wildlife sanctuaries in the country.The decision follows reports that tigers are disappearing at an alarming rate from the Sariska reserve in western Rajasthan state.
Poaching is the biggest problem - up to 10 tigers have been poached from the reserve in two years, officials say. Conservationists believe the official figure of 3,500 tigers in India's reserves is an exaggeration. The gravity of the situation was underlined by a recent appeal by the United Nations asking the Indian government to take steps to save tigers.
The chief of India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), US Mishra, said investigations into the disappearances at Sariska had revealed that forest guards were mostly unarmed and had limited communication facilities.
The CBI has recommended better training, arms for the guards and hiring of new staff to patrol forests.