Death of another sub-adult tiger in Bandhavgarh: The alarm bells are ringing loud

Lalit Shastri

Inside BandhavgarhCoinciding with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s meeting with Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Thursday to press for speedy clearance of development related projects in national parks and promotion of tourism in the buffer areas, those closely watching the fate of the highly endangered tiger were jolted by the news of the death of a sub-adult tiger under mysterious circumstances in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

About two months ago, a 6 month old male tiger was found dead hanging by a snare set up by poachers in a farmhouse adjoining the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. This property belongs to Rajendra Singh, the deputy Speaker of Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

An officer of the Wildlife Wing of the State Forest department told newsroom24x7 that the foresters had found the decaying carcass of a young tiger hidden in a bush near a water body in the buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. This happens to be the territory of another adult tiger.

While the State Chief Wildlife Warden Narendra Kumar told a section of the media that this appears to be a case of poisoning, there were others in the wildlife wing who said it is too early to zero in and say anything specific regarding the cause of the tiger’s death. When probed, a senior officer said that Viscera samples have been sent for examination to Sagar and other places and as the forensic report is still awaited it is not possible to tell the exact cause of death. The tiger must have died about five or six days ago and this could be concluded from the fact that the tiger’s body had decayed a lot, he said. Drawing attention to the gravity of man-animal conflict, he stated: ” the immensity of the problem can be measured from the fact that cattle has become the main prey base for big cats.” Underscoring this, he did not rule out poisoning saying cattle kills are on the rise these days and villagers do resort to revenge killings.

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