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India: Village of Umri relocated to protect tigers

The entire village of Umri, in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, has been relocated in order to protect tigers.

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A Royal Bengal tiger splashes into a pond at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on April 23, 2010. (Noah SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

The entire village of Umri, in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, has been relocated in order to protect tigers, The Hindu reported.

Residents of Umri, in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, in Rajasthan's Alwar district, last week cleared out of their homes to allow more space for the wild animals.

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Eighty-two families, or more than 350 people, have moved to Rundh Mozpur, about 25 miles away.

P.S. Somasekhar, Rajasthan’s chief conservator of forests, told The Hindu:

“The village they cleared comes to some 2 square kilometers but that has facilitated some 50 square kilometers of inviolate space for the wild animals in Sariska … This is the second village to move out completely from the park. The whole process was peaceful with the full cooperation of the families involved.”

According to the BBC, India’s tiger population has shrunk alarmingly in recent decades – with the number of tigers in Sariska dropping to zero, before climbing to five over the past three years.

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A 2011 census in India counted about 1,700 of the wild animals, compared to an estimated 100,000 a century ago.

Somasekhar, who also spoke to the BBC, said efforts were underway to relocate another four villages over the next few years.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120215/india-village-umri-relocated-tigers