December 12, 2023 – In a remarkable first, a tiger was spotted in the Shaukiyathal forest near Jageshwar Dham, Almora, in the Terai region of Uttarakhand. While tigers are occasionally seen in the Mohan area of Almora district, near the Corbett Park, this marks the first time they have been observed at an elevation exceeding six thousand feet in the Shaukiyathal region surrounded by the dense forests of bamboo and rhododendron near Jageshwar Dham.
According to reports, on Sunday evening, a group of young residents from Panuvanoula village in Jageshwar was heading to Thiklna village in the Jageshwar region when they spotted a tiger near the under-construction road in Shaukiyathal. Gaurav and other youth in the car promptly recorded a video of the tiger, leaving not only the locals but also wildlife experts astonished.
Wildlife experts confirm that tigers have never been seen in this area before. The presence of a tiger in the Shaukiyathal region has created a sense of excitement and concern among local residents and forest department officials.
The Shaukiyathal area is now gripped with fear due to the tiger’s presence. According to locals and forest department officials, usually, only leopards are spotted in these forests. Tigers have never been seen in the jungle areas of the plains.
With the current tiger population in the state exceeding 570, and approximately 270 tigers counted in Corbett Park alone, the state has witnessed a substantial increase in the tiger population in recent years. It is speculated that due to the higher population, tigers are now moving towards the mountains. There is a possibility that this tiger may have traveled from Corbett Park to Shaukiyathal, passing through the Binsar Sanctuary.
In recent times, there have been reports of the presence of tigers in the mountainous regions. Factors such as climate change, easy availability of prey, and the increasing tiger population in the Terai jungles have contributed to the movement of tigers towards the mountains. To ascertain the tiger’s activity in the Jageshwar region, trap cameras should be installed, suggested Dr. Dheeraj Pandey, Director of Corbett Park.
As of now, there is no information about tiger sightings in the Jageshwar region. Nevertheless, efforts will be made to confirm tiger activity in the area, where tigers have never been observed before, said Dhruv Martolia, DFO Civil Soyam, Almora.