Nagpur: Amid lot of concerns and widespread criticism, the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday assured that the iconic tiger Jai, missing since the past over three months, will be traced soon. “Tons of speculations are taking rounds over the fate of Umred Karhandla Sanctuary tiger. But the majestic beast would be located sooner than later as Forest Department is making efforts on war-footing,” Fadnavis said on the sidelines of a function organized to celebrate World Tiger’s Day on July 29.
“Jai is in the habit of crisscrossing the vast areas of the sanctuary and goes of ‘trekking’ for months. He has done this earlier also. Hence, there is a hope that Jai will be located,” the Chief Minister stated in positive tone.
Echoing the same words, the State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar too stated that the elusive tiger will be the sight of the animal lovers soon. “The way Jai is stealing headlines over his missing, I am happy that people are expressing their concerns as well as taking interest in the working of Forest Ministry. Jai (victory) will be soon in the hands of Forest Department soon,” Mungantiwar hoped.
A massive search operation is underway for the country’s most famous tiger, with millions of adoring fans worried sick about the big cat since it went missing three months ago. A firm favourite with tourists and conservationists alike, the seven-year-old, 250-kilogram feline was last seen at the Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, where he usually lives, on April 18.
The State Government has offered a reward of Rs 50,000 for information on Jai’s location, a small fortune for the hundreds of local villagers engaged in the hunt. Newspapers are carrying daily reports on the latest speculation about where Jai may be or what fate might have befallen him with some claiming reported, but unconfirmed, sightings. Jai has been credited with both boosting tourism and helping to repopulate India’s tiger population.