Sick in sanctuary

Sick in sanctuary  Wildlife in the Sariska Tiger Reserve is facing serious health problems. In the past two years, about a dozen tigers and leopards, which were killed in road accidents or found dead, were found to be suffering from tuberculosis (tb) or liver infection. "It is an established fact that tigers and leopards have died in the past due to tb, lung infection and liver cirrhosis,' said B Charm, assistant field director of the sanctuary.

The experts are debating the original source of infection. Some believe that the infection was brought to the sanctuary by red monkeys and languors who return to the forest after making forays into the towns. Some like Sharma say diseases of domestic cattle living within and outside the sanctuary are being contracted by the wild animals because they share water holes inside the park. "Not a single water hole in the sanctuary at present is free from infection,' said Daulat Singh Saktawat, range officer of the sanctuary.

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