Shoot @ sight in Corbett

In a stringent anti-poaching measure, authorities at Corbett Tiger Reserve have issued shoot-at-sight orders “to prevent killing of big cats in the reserve“. The orders were passed after movement of suspected poachers was reported near the southern boundary of the park. Officiating in-charge of CTR, Parag Madhukar Dhakate, said that the step has been taken for “protection of wildlife, especially tigers“. Authorities are also taking other steps including barring villagers from entering the protected area and subjecting visitors to extensive frisking.

The order comes days after the controversial BBC documentary , `Killing for Conservation', raised a question as to whether the war on poaching had gone too far. The film claimed that guards at the reserve were given the power to `shoot and kill', which, according to BBC's South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt, had led to the deaths of 23 poachers, compared to 17 rhinos last year. The environment ministry later criticised the BBC for “presenting a one-sided picture“ and requested that it blacklist Rowlatt.

Dhakate added that to protect wildlife in the tiger reserve, two drones and 150 forest frontline staff have also been deployed. Over 388 camera traps have been set up and sharpshooters equipped with night vision goggles have been put on duty in the park, which has a population of 164 tigers and sees over 1,000 visitors daily.

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