With reference to Indian laws about wildlife protection, consider the following statements:
- Wild animals are the sole property of the government.
- When a wild animal is declared protected, such animal is entitled for equal protection whether it is found in protected areas or outside.
- Apprehension of a protected wild animal becoming a danger to human life is sufficient ground for its capture or killing.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2022 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only
- The Bombay High Court has ruled that wild animals including tigers should be treated as “government property for all purposes” and any damage caused by them should be compensated by the Government. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
- The law governing the subject of wildlife, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, does not discriminate between animals found in protected areas and outside. It provides for equal protection for wild animals irrespective of where they are found. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
- Only if the wild animal becomes a danger to human life or is diseased or disabled beyond recovery can it be allowed to be captured or killed by the competent authority, the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. This provision is applicable to wild animals listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which includes leopards. Mere apprehension or fear that a wild animal could endanger human life is not a ground for capture or killing. Hence, statement 3 is incorrect.