Forest dept finds tiger carcass

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Forest dept finds tiger carcass

31 May 2009, 0406 hrs IST, TNN

PANAJI: Forest department officials investigating the killing of a tiger in Keri village achieved a breakthrough on Saturday evening when they found parts of the lower jaw, some fur and bones distinctly belonging to a big cat after a search of a cashew plantation.

The cashew plantation south east of Keri and located below Vagheri hill is tended by one Ganesh Majik and is barely three kms from Majikwada, sources said.

The remains were found on a small patch of what appeared to be a burnt area near the north-eastern boundary of the cashew plantation.

Around the burnt patch were signs that alerted the officials who recovered the bones.

“It is a serious case of destroying evidence as the accused tried to break the remains of the carcass into small pieces. By the look of it, we know it is tiger bones,” said sub divisional forest officer Subhash Henriques, Ponda who led the search.

The findings included pieces of the lower jaw, but the skull and limbs and other major parts were missing. Some fur and a few bones, some partly burnt and others intact were found. Three metres away from the burnt area, seven teeth, some blood stained leaves were also found. All the evidence has been attached and sealed and will be sent to the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun for confirmation that the blood on the leaves and the bones and teeth are indeed those of a tiger.

TOI had first reported a case of tiger poaching in the state in its edition dated April 14, 2009. Keri villagers had told TOI that the animal had been roaming around human settlements, which had unnerved residents enough for someone to lay a trap. Since the TOI report, the Goa forest department had been probing the case.

The recovery team also comprised forest officials Anil Shetgaonkar, Vishwas Chodankar, Pingulkar, Wadkar and guards from Ponda, Valpoi and Keri.

Meanwhile three persons, Gopal alias Vithal Majik, Ankush Rama Majik and Bhiva alias Pintu Gawas who had been arrested earlier in connection with the tiger killing, were subsequently released.

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