BHOPAL: Recovery of a 13-year-old tigress's carcass in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve amidst fire in forest has raised questions over tiger reserve officials. While forest officials attribute death to mating fight, locals blame it on forest fire. The carcass was found on March 30 night in Magadhi range of Rohania beat. Postmortem was conducted on March 31 after which it was disposed as per NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) protocols.
The spot where the carcass was found was thoroughly checked. Even a sniffer dog was deployed. A male tiger was spotted close by. Footprints of the tiger were also present near the spot, said field director Vincent Rahim.
The tigress had injury marks over neck and shoulder areas which were observed by the vet Nitin Gupta. It is highly likely that she lost her life during mating fight, he added. Field director also rubbished locals' claim that tigress lost life because of fire raging in the forest for the past three days. However, locals residing in nearby villages insisted that the tigress died because of fire. The fire had reached a few core areas of the forest, claimed locals. Fire broke out in Magadhi, Panpatha and Pataur ranges of Bandhavgarh tiger reserve three days back. After forest officials failed to control the fire, it spread to other areas as well. An enquiry has been constituted to fix the accountability, as to why the fire could not be controlled.