BENGALURU: An aged tiger was found dead within the Shettyhalli Wildlife Sanctuary limits on April 19. The tiger may have died due to natural causes, but the exact cause is are yet to be ascertained. With this, the total number of tiger deaths has gone up to 11 in just four months.
The tiger was a big, healthy animal roaming the hilly terrain and unlike Bandipur or Nagarhole, did not have much competition for food or territory as the number of tigers in these parts are less. Villagers of Shettyhalli who had sighted this tiger often, had recently informed the forest officials that it looked weak and ailing.
Speaking to Express, Shivamogga Wildlife Range Forest Officer Kiran added, “Although a healthy tiger, the villagers had told us it was often seen for long hours near Kalakoppa Kere. It seemed to be very weak and also ailing. We went in search of the tiger but we could not find it. Later, the carcass was found in a highly decomposed state.” This is the first time that a tiger death has been recorded in these parts, the RFO added.
“The postmortem was performed by doctors of our department and experts from the Government Veterinary College. We have sent the samples for further investigations to CCMB, Hyderabad, to ascertain the age and sex of the tiger and the reasons for its death. The report is expected within 15 days.”
The reasons for tiger deaths in Karnataka range from botched capture and relocation operations, infighting, poaching, snare deaths to ill health and old age problems, says G Veeresh, wildlife activist.
As per Tigernet, the official directory for tigers and other wildlife mortality, three out of the 11 deaths in the state have occurred outside tiger reserves while seven deaths were reported in Nagarhole and three in Bandipur.