CHANDRAPUR/NAGPUR: A tigress was found dead and its sub-adult cub has been traced close by on the premises of Lohara teak research centre, 3km from Chandrapur, on Sunday.
This is the second tiger death in a month in the district. On January 23, a full-grown tiger was electrocuted in Zaran in FDCM area near Chandrapur.
The tigress seems to have died after being hit by an unidentified vehicle while crossing the road. Experts say the spot seems to be a favourite crossing as a tigress had met the same fate in February 2006.
Senior officials confirmed presence of a cub nearby, who is unable to stand on its legs after the accident. “The cub, suspected to be sub-adult, is in a state of shock. We are closely monitoring movement of the cub and have installed camera traps. A bait has also been tied near the cub. A search of the area has revealed that there is only one cub,” they said. However, experts suspect that there might be another cub which must have moved ahead.
On Sunday, patrolling staff of the teak centre noticed carcass of the tigress in compartment no. 397 close to the Chandrapur-Mul road. It took more than five hours for the senior officers of Chandrapur circle to reach the spot after the carcass was noticed.
A visit to the spot revealed that the carcass was fresh and blood was oozing out from the nose and the right hind limb was slashed. The 8-year-old beast may have died early in the morning.
“All the body parts of the tigress are intact and hence possibility of poaching is ruled out,” officials said. The big cat was 2.40 metres in length and 94cm in height.
Sources claimed that the tigress had its location in the teak research nursery and forest around. The tigress had a 20-cm-long gash in the right hind limb. A deep cut ripped the skin revealing bone close to the claw.
“The animal’s joint at the place of fresh injury has also been dislocated. There is also a 4-cm-long injury on the right forelimb which appears a bit old. The tigress might have died due to excessive internal bleeding,” officials said, quoting veterinary doctors.
They ruled out the possibility of electrocution as no burn marks were found on the body. Veterinary doctors who performed autopsy later deduced the internal haemorrhage as a cause of death.
Deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) P Kalyankumar informed that the tigress might have been hit by some vehicle while crossing the road. The carcass was burned in the presence of forest officials and NGOs in the evening.
Nitin Desai, Central India director of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), said, “It’s a big loss as a tigress delivers at least 16 cubs during her life circle. It is high time vehicular traffic is regulated on Chandrapur-Mul road.”