A National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) team has reached Kota to investigate the death of a four year old tigress MT2 in the Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Rajasthan. The decomposed body of the tigress was found on Monday morning. It appeared to be three to four days old. She had given birth to two cubs in the month of May. One of the cubs has been found while the other is still missing. This is the second tiger death recorded in the park in the span of ten days.
The entire incident indicates gross negligence on the part of the Rajasthan Forest Department. It is now coming forth that the signal emanating from the collar of the tigress had been static for over last 72 hours, but no effort had been made to trace her.
Senior officials had rushed to the MHTR after the news of the tigress’s death came across. The post-mortem was conducted and body cremated. There were four huge wounds on the body of MT2. It is now being said that the death was caused by a fight between the tigers during mating.
Experts however rubbish the claims.
Taking into account the allegations of negligence, the government has taken action against two IFS officers, Anand Mohan and T Mohanraj. They have been made APO.
The NTCA team has been sent after the complaint of Lok Sabha Speaker and Kota-Bundi MP Om Birla. Birla posted on social media, “After the deaths of two tigers in Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve over the last 12 days, I have spoken to senior officials of NTCA. A team has reached Kota. A team of specialists will also be sent to Kota soon. Conservation of tigers at MHTR is our top priority.”
Member of MHTR advisory committee, Tapeshwar Singh Bhati said, "The death of MT2 exposes the negligence and lack of monitoring by Forest Department towards the tigers in MHTR. It learnt no lessons from the death of MT3.”
The MTHR had been created by the Vasundhra Raje government in 2013 despite objections from the National Tiger Conservation Authority. A pair of tigers had been shifted from Ranthambore. Later another pair was added. MT2 was in a large enclosure with a male tiger. She was found dead inside the enclosure.