BENGALURU: With the seizure of a tiger pelt at Periyapatna town near Mysuru on Wednesday, Karnataka has seen 11 tiger deaths in the last nine months. Of these, snaring has claimed four tigers in the last two years. In the last nine months, 11 tigers have died due to various reasons — poisoning, snaring, electrocution or territorial wars. Infighting is another reason with Bandipur-Nagarhole protected areas having the highest density of tigers and facing the problem of space for these carnivores (males) which need a territory of 60-100 sqkm.
On Wednesday, Govinda, a poacher, was arrested by the Mysuru forest squad led by DCF M T Poovaiah in Periyapatna town. The poacher had in his possession the skin of a huge male tiger. This big cat had been snared early this year at Chowthy village near Periyapatna. Govinda had earlier been arrested for killing a leopard.
A senior forest official told TNIE that the tiger was caught in a snare that had been installed for wild boars. A group of three poachers later skinned the tiger and also removed its nails and bones. One poacher was arrested while the other two are still absconding.
An official added, “Lot of snare combing operations are taken up on a regular basis. Such incidents happen in the fringe areas and unless we have information, it is very difficult to trace the snares. There are no organised gangs operating in Bandipur-Nagarhole region — we have ensured that with vigilance, frequent arrests and combing operations.”
“Further, 5-10% of tiger deaths occur due to natural reasons like old age and infighting. It is a multi-pronged approach to ensure safety of tigers. Two cases where we suspect poachers using ammonia in water to kill deer but causing deaths of tigers is being investigated. All cases are thoroughly investigated and reviewed time and again,” he added.