Tigress dies in MP’s Kanha Reserve; officials suspect territorial fight

Wildlife activist refutes theory, says tigresses seldom engage in territorial fights

Bhopal: A four-year-old tigress was found dead in Kanha Tiger Reserve during a routine patrolling by forest guards on Saturday morning, officials said. The tigress reportedly died in a territorial fight, a forest officer said. After being informed by guards, senior officials rushed to the spot with a forensic team. A team of experts found several injury marks on the body of the tigress.

According to experts, the cause of death could be a fight between two big cats. She had sustained severe injuries and half of the body of the dead tigress was also missing. Experts feared that some animal may have eaten parts of the tigress’s body. The team also inspected nearby areas, but found nothing suspicious. The officials also performed a postmortem on the body of the tigress and the detailed postmortem report is yet to arrive. Kanha Tiger Reserve administration disposed off the body after cremating it in the presence of regional director, representatives of WWF India and National Tiger Conservation Authority officials.

Poaching or territorial fight!

A senior officer from the reserve denied any possibility of poaching, saying, “The tigress had a deep cut on her back indicating that she had been assaulted by a reserve mate. As a precaution, we called a sniffer dog for further probe into the death.” A wildlife activist from MP refuted the forest department’s theory behind the death, saying that tigresses are seldom involved in the fights for territorial supremacy. Normally, the dominant males get engaged in such brawls, he said.

Madhya Pradesh becoming death trap for tigers

According to experts, Madhya Pradesh had lost the tag of tiger state and the state which had over 700 tigers in 2000, now has 308 tigers. The incidents of tiger deaths are on the rise. With the latest casualty, MP has so far lost 11 tigers in a year. In 2016, the state had reported 30 tiger deaths, highest in India, and in 2017, 25 big cats had died here. Recently, a tigress was killed on November 29 due to overdose of a tranquiliser, while another tiger was hit by a train and died on the railway tracks in Satna on December 5. A white tigress had died in Mukundpur Tiger Safari on December 7.