Tiger cubs poisoned in Kaziranga; one dead
Kaziranga (Assam), December 28: A female tiger cub of about four months was found dead in the Hatikuli Tea Estate adjoining the southern boundary of Kaziranga National Park in Assam this morning. Another cub, a male of same age, was found seriously ill yesterday noon in the same area. Circumstances pointed to a case of poisoning, officials said.
The cubs were found by workers at the tea estate. “Both cubs were of the same age group and were found close to each other and must have belonged to the same litter,” Uttam Saikia, Honorary Wildlife Warden, said.
A carcass of a partly consumed cow was found about 200 metres away from the cubs. Bankim Sharma, DFO, Kaziranga National Park said, “It seems to be a case of poisoning. Samples from the cow carcass and the dead tiger have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Guwahati.” He also added that “FIR on the case has been lodged. The dead cow belonged to one of the workers in the tea estate. Complicity of the authorities was suspected and an FIR was also lodged against the tea estate manager.”
The mother of the cubs has not been located yet.
The male cub found yesterday is currently at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) in Kaziranga. Anjan Talukdar, Centre Veterinarian who was with the Forest Department team which rescued it said that the cub was suffering from convulsions and was slightly dehydrated.
In October, two sub-adult tigers had died after consuming meat from a poisoned carcass in Orang National Park. The tiger kill was poisoned by angry villagers retaliating against cattle-lifting.
CWRC is a joint initiative of WTI and the Assam Forest Department supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals of the region.
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