Bullet wound in dead tiger
A STAFF REPORTER
Calcutta, Oct. 7: The tiger found dead in a Sunderbans river yesterday had been shot in the forehead, a post-mortem has revealed.
Tourists on a motorised launch had spotted the carcass floating in the Bidya in Gosaba, 260km south of Calcutta.
“The post-mortem report confirms one gunshot injury by a country-made weapon. However, no bullet could be traced as it had pierced its temple. The animal might have died of brain haemorrhage,” Neeraj Singhal, director of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, said today.
The three veterinary surgeons who carried out the post-mortem at Calcutta’s Alipore Zoo found a deep hole in the tiger’s forehead.
Singhal said the injury marks were initially not visible as the tiger’s body had swollen and started to rot. Forest officials had yesterday taken the carcass of the “full-grown male” to the Dobanki forest camp and brought it to Alipore Zoo today.
A preliminary investigation points the needle of suspicion at deer poachers. “We suspect that deer hunters might have shot the tiger in self-defence. Had the animal been killed by professional tiger poachers, they would have taken away the carcass. But all its parts, including the skin, claws and penis, were intact. It died 48 hours ago,” Singhal said.
He promised to increase the number of forest guards in the Sunderbans tiger reserve.