MUMBAI: A tigress and two cubs were found dead in the Chimur forest range of Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district on Monday morning.
“The carcasses were found near a drain in Metepur village under the Chimur forest range,” said Chief Conservator of Forest, Chandrapur S V Ramarao.
“When some villagers from Metepar had gone to the forest to get black plums they spotted the carcasses at around 8 am in the morning. The cubs appear to be of 8-9 months in age,” he said and added that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of death.
Amod Gaurkar, a local wildlife enthusiast has claimed that when he visited the spot he saw a half eaten dead spotted dear near the site where the tigers were found dead which Gaurkar alleges is an indicator that the tigers might have been poisoned.
When asked about the possibility, Rama Rao said, “According to the preliminary information, there were no signs of electrocution. So, we suspect it could be poisoning. We are yet to fully figure out facts.”
Maharashtra recorded 20 tiger deaths in 2018, the second highest number in the country. Death of three tigers by poisoning in a single incident is rare. A similar incident was reported in 2003, also in Bramhapuri division. Earlier in December 2018, two tigers were found poisoned to death in Umred-Karhandla wildlife sanctuary.
Bramhapuri division has the largest number of tigers and leopards for a non- protected area, about 42 and 83 respectively, often leading to human-wildlife conflict.
26 exotic birds rescued
Twenty-six exotic birds, smuggled from Myanmar, being taken to Kerala, were rescued by a joint team of Border Security Force and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in Mizoram.
“The 26 exotic birds were rescued during a joint operation carried out by sleuths of BSF and DRI at Khamrang on Saturday night,” an official source said.
Four of the eight people arrested are from Kerala. The birds, which included Pigeon, White Cockatoo, Emu and Crown Head, were rescued from Kolasib district. The rescue on the was based upon intelligence input.