Tiger’s death triggers fever fear
A STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, Aug. 19: A Royal Bengal tiger of the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park died this morning at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation near Kaziranga, where it had been taken after the animal was found ill last evening.
The tiger’s death has raised fears of a mysterious disease lurking in the wilds of Orang.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that some kind of a disease might have led to the tiger’s death,” Prasanta Boro, a veterinarian at the centre told The Telegraph.
A post-mortem on the carcass would be conducted in the presence of officials from the Wildlife Crime Investigation Bureau tomorrow.
This is the first Royal Bengal tiger of Orang to have died this year.
On the other hand, seven such tigers have died this year at the Kaziranga National Park. Officials at Kaziranga claimed that most of these tigers had died of old age and infighting or in duels with buffaloes. A few died of poisoning.
S. Momin, the divisional forest officer of Orang, said the rangers spotted the tiger near Nislamari anti-poaching camp of the park early yesterday. “The tiger could barely walk,” he said.
Experts from the rehabilitation centre near Kaziranga rushed to Orang in the afternoon and captured the tiger by tranquillising the animal late last evening.
After preliminary treatment at the park’s range office, the tiger was shifted to the centre.
“We provided treatment throughout the night but the tiger died around 9am today,” Boro said.
He said two injury marks, one on the head and another on the left fore limb, were detected on the animal but it could not have led to its death.
“The injury marks did not look fatal enough to kill the animal. The exact cause of death will be ascertained only after post-mortem,” Boro said.
Momin said initially it was suspected that villagers, in a bid to protect their cattle, had poisoned the tiger.
“But when we found that the tongue of the tiger appeared normal, we were almost sure that it had not consumed poison,” the divisional forest officer said.
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