CHANDRAPUR: Intense search operations have been launched in the jungle around Lohara Forest Research Centre to locate the cub of the tigress that died in the accident. Forest officers are now concerned about the well being of the cub that is alone. The tiger cub, aged around 15 months, was last located sitting in vile of dense shrub mere 50 metre from the carcass of the tigress.
“Earlier it was thought that it could be a mate of tigress, but later it came to fore that it was a cub, that was trying to get close to its mother. The cub remained for few hours in the shrubs waiting for mob to be cleared, but after it sensed that people are not going to leave the place, it went into in the jungle. Dozens of people saw the cub sitting there,” said a forest officer present at the spot.
Three camera traps were laid and bait tethered, but the cub neither came close to the bait nor was captured in the camera trap. Its pug marks were found in a nearby nullah. Forest officers are even afraid that the cub could be injured in the accident.
APCCF Anmol Kumar visited the spot and directed the forest officials to locate the cub and monitor its movement. Officials said, “The cub appears sturdy and can survive in the wild. We are trying to locate it but have no plans to capture it. Baits would be kept in the area of its location and its movements will be monitored continuously.”
What caused the haemorrhage?
The autopsy confirmed that the tigress died due to internal haemorrhage in the skull. But speculations are rife over the reason that caused the haemorrhage. Forest department has maintained that tigress was hit by some vehicle while it was crossing the Chandrapur-Mul road. The injury in the hind leg was caused in the accident, probably by sharp bumper of the vehicle or by some protruding metal on the road. The injured tigress later walked over few hundred meters into the jungle of research centre and died. They claim that recovery of tar and sharp pellet of road metal substantiate their theory.
But wildlife activities have raised question over the theory. They asked why there is no visible injury or fracture on head or upper body? The big gash on the paw of hind leg is most unlikely place to sustain injury, when the rest of the body had no cut or scratch sustained from hit of the vehicle. As far as tar and road metal found in skin is concerned, they could get stuck even when tigress sleeps on the road, they argue.
They suspect low voltage electrocution may have caused the haemorrhage in the skull leading to dripping of blood through nose after death. But forest officials and veterinary doctor, who performed the autopsy, completely ruled it out saying that the big cut injury near the paw had no burn mark. However, samples of skin from the injured part have been forwarded to forensic lab for examination.
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