BENGALURU: The postmortem of the dead tiger found late Tuesday evening in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve (NTR), has revealed that it was shot dead. Forest department officials conducted the postmortem on Wednesday morning, and found a bullet in the tiger’s body. While two of the animal’s canines were missing, two more were cut by half, and all its claws had been removed too.
The incident has shocked conservationists and department officials for this is the first tiger shooting incident in the reserve in the past two years. The staffers arrested one person who had in his possession ammunition and wild animal meat. They are also searching for his links and others involved in the case.
NTR was accorded the tag of a prime tiger reserve of India by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, in the recently released tiger census report.
This had not just made the department proud, but also increased pressure as it warned of more man-animal conflict cases. According to NTR officials, the male tiger, aged 5-6 years, was shot at from close range. The carcass was found in Kalhalla range, just 750 metres away from Tattakere Hadi, a tribal hamlet. It is just 700 metres from forest quarters.
Conservationists are questioning how no one heard the gunshot. They said it takes over an hour to remove the claws. Forest officials are finding it difficult to extract information from tribals, making the case more suspicious. NTR Director R Mahesh said the tiger’s mouth was wide open. “The matter is being investigated and more links are being traced. It cannot be just one incident, it is well-planned and involves many hands. All angles are being probed. So far, since the lockdown was imposed, all poaching cases have been solved, barring one. This will also be solved, and if any foresters are involved, they will not be spared,” he said.