Madhya Pradesh, popularly known as the ''tiger state'' of India, has lost 93 of the big cats due to poaching and other causes in the past three years, state forest minister Vijay Shah told the Assembly on Monday.
In a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Satish Sikarwar, the minister said the 93 deaths occurred from
January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2021, with 25 of them taking place due to poaching, for which 77 people had been held, and the rest due to natural causes, diseases, mutual conflict, old age etc.
As per the 2018 tiger population estimation, Madhya Pradesh has 526 tigers, the highest in the country, with Bandhavgarh with 104 big cats leading the state's tally.
According to the forest department, 88 tigers were found in Kanha Reserve, 61 in Pench Reserve, 25 in Panna Reserve, 40 in Satpura Reserve and five each in Sanjay Reserve and Nauradehi sanctuary. Besides, 45 tigers are found in Ratapani, Singhori and Khivani sanctuaries, which are part of one landscape.
In the same reply, the minister said lions are not found naturally in the state and the Kuno National Park has been developed for the reintroduction of the Asiatic lion.
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