The order follows an intelligence input which said that poachers from a neighbouring state have given a contract to kill 25 tigers in Maharashtra. The state is on high alert after the input as Maharashtra has just over 104 tigers in the state. Poachers have already killed one tiger, which died after getting caughtin a metaltrap.Another narrowly survived after being caught in a similar trap. “A probe is on to find out if the tiger died in the trap or was electrocuted,” Kadam said.
Stating that the poaching came to light because of the department’s vigilance, Pravin Pardeshi, principal secretary (forest), said, “We have asked guards to be alert and 523 vacancies will be filled.” “A fund has been sanctioned for informers providing tips about poachers,” he added.
The department has deployed 70 more guards for the Tadoba reserve and 90 for Pench. “Guards will be armed. Extra vehicles have been provided to guards for round-the-clock vigil,” Kadam said.
A four-member expert panel has also been formed to suggest steps to end poaching.