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Did sambar meal cost tiger his life?

The carcass of the six-year-old tiger was found 100 metres away from the backwater of the Parsons Valley Reservoir by anti-poaching watchers.

Published: 16th July 2019 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2019 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: A piece of blade and tapeworms were among the whatnots retrieved from the viscera of a fallen tiger, whose carcass was found near the Parsons Valley reservoir in the Nilgiris district on Sunday evening. While forest officials suspect the tiger choked on a sambar deer, questions about society’s refuse tampering with the food chain raises concerns about the local civic body’s waste management system. 

The carcass of the six-year-old tiger was found 100 metres away from the backwater of the Parsons Valley Reservoir by anti-poaching watchers on a routine patrol. The officials suspect the feline fell three days ago as his body was bloated. Initially, there were suspicions of poisoning -- a sniffer dog from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) disproved the belief. Later, Forest officials ruled out the possibility of poisoning.

On Monday, Animal Husbandry Department veterinarians Raju and Tamil Selvan conducted the postmortem examination. The veterinarians retrieved samples of vital organs to ascertain the exact cause of the death by sending them for analysis to Coimbatore and Chennai. 

The carcass of the six-year-old male tiger in
Nilgiri district on Monday | Express

The carcass was found in a remote area, said District Forest Officer of the Nilgiris Forest division D Guruswamy. “There is no evidence of poisoning. However, we would be able to confirm it only after getting the postmortem reports. The animal was suffering from indigestion and there were traces of sambar deer in his throat. This might have blocked his respiratory system.

There are signs that the animal vomited after quenching his thirst in the backwaters. However, we were shocked to find a small piece of blade in his intestine; it could have entered its body when it consumed the sambar deer, which might been fed on garbage.

Urging the local civic body to get its act together to protect the wildlife, he said, “We also found tapeworms -- which are generally found in goats -- in the big cat’s intestine.

Though the Nilgiris is a plastic-free district, garbage mounds and dumps are strewn with plastics and refuse. Sambar deer and bisons rummage these dumps in the Ooty town. The carcass of the big cat was found just 25 km away from Ooty town area. The local body should carry out proper solid waste management practice by fencing off the area for the welfare of wild animals,” he added.

After postmortem examination, the carcass was burnt as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Postmortem will reveal the truth

The carcass was found in a remote area, said District Forest Officer of the Nilgiris Forest division D Guruswamy. “There is no evidence of poisoning. However, we would be able to confirm it only after getting the postmortem reports. The animal was suffering from indigestion and there were traces of sambar deer in his throat. This might have blocked his respiratory system. There are signs that the animal vomited after quenching his thirst in the backwaters. However, we were shocked to find a small piece of blade in his intestine; it could have entered its body when it consumed the sambar deer, which might been fed on garbage



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