BENGALURU: The news of the death of a tiger in Kalhalla range of Nagarhole Tiger Reserve has raised many questions. Forest officials said the carcass was found in the bushes on Tuesday evening. “We got the information late and we reached the site late. So postmortem could not be conducted. It will be done on Wednesday,” said NTR Director R Ramesh.
He said the gender and age was not known, but prima facie it seemed to be a mid-aged animal. As the skin was still fresh, it was likely that the tiger had died just a day before. The department is suspecting foul play in the wake of the poaching cases the tiger reserve has seen ever since Lockdown-1 was enforced. According to records, this is the second tiger death since then. The first was a natural death reported in Veeranahossahalli range.
Responding to the news of the missing canines and claws, Ramesh said only postmortem will confirm. “Until the team for postmortem arrives, the carcass is kept well guarded. However foul play is not being ruled out as the location is just 750 metres away from tribal hamlets of Tattakere Haddi, which connect to revenue pockets and coffee estates in Kodagu and other places,” he added.
The forest department is also looking at the angle that the animal could have died a natural death and its claws and canines could have been removed later. Conservationists are not happy with the way the department has handled it. The death of a tiger is a serious issue and if there is news that its claws and canines are missing, irrespective of what time the incident is reported, they said.