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Tiger spotted in Kedarnath at 3,400m altitude

A tiger was caught on camera in the Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary at an altitude of 3400m (approximately 11,154 ft) above mean sea level, officials said on Wednesday.

The tiger was spotted on May 26 at 2:38 am in a valley that falls under the Kedarnath forest division.The sighting of the tiger at this unusual height indicated that the big cat was changing its habitat, said experts. “We had put camera traps in this area at a height of around 3500m and the tiger was spotted at a height of 3400m. Tiger are generally found in low altitude areas, and such a sighting clearly shows that tigers are changing their habitat,” said Amit Kanwar, divisional forest officer, Kedarnath.

In 2016,a tiger was spotted at 3274m (approximately 10,741 ft) in Askot in Uttarakhand. Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have also reported the presence of big cats at similar elevations. India is home to 2,226 tigers, according to the All India Tiger Estimation, 2015. The present spotting of tiger at 3400m is likely to be the highest in the country. Before this, a tiger was spotted at 3274 m in Askot landscape in March 2016, which was then said to be the highest in the country by a Wildlife Institute of India report.

VB Mathur, director of Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India, had earlier said, “Tigers are generally found at an altitude of 4000 ft-6000 ft in India. But, since the last estimation was done (2014) both states (Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh) have reported the presence of tigers in high-altitude areas.”

First Published:
Jun 27, 2019 07:33 IST

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