Why Captive or Man-Eating Big Cats Should not be Released into the Wild

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Preamble

They say the path to hell is paved with good intentions. That’s certainly true of releasing captive or man-eating big cats into the wild, ostensibly to ‘conserve’ them. In 2015, a wild tiger from Chikmagalur that killed a local woman, and showed no fear of humans, was captured by the Forest Department.  Unfortunately, while initial press reports indicated that it would be transferred to the Bannerghatta zoo, this dangerous animal was instead released into the Bhimgad forest against the Read More

Q: Do we have any scientific data to show if tigers bred in captivity can be successfully relocated in the wild ?

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Answer from Shekar Dattatri, Conservation India

There is plenty of evidence to show that releasing hand-reared, captive bred large carnivores into the wild is generally unsuccessful for several reasons. Please go through this paper for a full explanation: Killer Cats – The Dangers of Captive Carnivore Introductions.

To quote from the paper:

“The only way to recover and increase big cat populations is to stop poaching of the cats and their prey…thereafter numbers will bounce back in a … Read More

Hand reared Tigress released into Panna Wildlife Reserve as part of experiment Mar 29, 2011

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A six year old hand-reared tigress has been released into the Panna Wildlife Reserve in Madhya Pradesh by HS Pabla, the head of the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. Experts however contend that this amounts of suicide for the tigers as they cannot match wild tigers in terms of survival skills. However, HS Pabla contends that the tigress has been trained for the last six years and been bereft of human company. The tigress (along with another) were in an enclosure … Read More