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Minister walks into tiger cage, stirs row


Bahar Dutt,CNN-IBN
Aug 18, 2009 at 02:39am IST

New Delhi: What Agriculture Minister of Maharashtra, Balasaheb Thorat, thought was innocent petting of a tiger cub at a zoo in Nagpur has now landed him in serious trouble.

Wildlife activists are crying foul, questioning how the Minister could get inside the cage of an animal in a zoo.

“There should be a complaint filed against the Minister and against the authorities as well,” said wildlife lawyer Ritwick Dutta.

So did the Minister break any law? Section 38(J) of the Wildlife Protection Act clearly prohibits

teasing and molesting, injuring and feeding any animal in the Zoo.

But the minister claims he is innocent.

“As pro-chancellor of this Agriculture college, I went to see how our staff is taking care of these tiger cubs and actually they're doing such a good job that the tiger has even taken a liking to humans,” said Thorat.

The four-month-old tiger cub had been rescued from the wild and activists allege with so much human contact, the chances of its release back in the wild are now slim.

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