A report by officers in Ranthambore said that tigers were turning aggressive as more felines in the tiger reserve fight for limited habitat space. Additionally, there is higher biotic pressure due to tourism. The officers have suggested remedial measures that include the relocation of tigers to curb the problem.
In the last two years, close to a dozen incidents of tiger-human conflict have been recorded by the state forest department. The report says which four people lost their lives, injuring several others, reports Indian English language daily Hindustan Times.
The tigers, a year ago, were not as aggressive as they are now, the report said - blaming the higher presence of humans in the habitat.
"The tiger-human conflict and deadly attacks (by tigers) were negligible earlier but in the past one year tigers have become aggressive because of which incidents of loss of life and property are constantly happening."
The tiger reserve administration reached the conclusion that relatively young tigers, aged between 2-3 years, have become more aggressive as they failed to establish their territory.
The reserve has a total of 62 tigers, with 27 males, 25 females and 10 cubs. The population is more than the carrying capacity of the reserve.
"The aggression will rise after the 10 cubs start marking their territory," a forest department official, unwilling to be named, said, adding that there was an "immediate need" to relocate 10 tigers from the tiger reserve.
The report also said that the tigers in the past one year have attacked humans mostly in the tourism areas. "The young tigers were very aggressive in the tourism areas, especially when they saw vehicles coming towards them. These vehicles cause so much stress and violate their peaceful surroundings," the officer added, recommending limiting the number of tourist vehicles, especially full-day and half-day safaris.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Rajasthan, Arindam Tomar said, "We have received the report and it is being examined."
Retired Indian Forest Service officer, Sunayan Sharma, said tourism and over populations are two major reasons for the man-animal conflict.
"Tourism is increasing pressure on tigers. I am not against tourism but it should not be at the cost of the eco-system. The tiger should at least get its minimum space," he said. Sharma said if the excess tigers are relocated, the population will not decrease, rather the breeding will increase, as there will be no stress on the big cats.