A tigress was found dead on Monday in Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park and wildlife officials suspect it could have died following a territorial fight.
The dead tigress was found in Zone 9 of the park by some nature guides Monday afternoon.
A post-mortem examination on the
body of the tigress will be done, a forest official said.
The officer added that it would be premature to conclude the cause of death. However, prima-facie it seems that the tigress had a territorial fight with a tiger.
Four other tigers were killed in territorial fights over the past four years in Ranthambore National Park, leaving environmentalists worried that as the tiger numbers increase, there is also a need to create a habitat in which they can thrive.
There are about 52 tigers, including 26 cubs, in the park.
The tigers are overlapping each other's territory. To get their share of space, the big cats are fighting each other to death in the reserve in Sawai Madhopur district, some 150 km from Jaipur, wildlife experts said.
A tigress died in the reserve area Dec 23, and the death was attributed to a territorial fight. The mutilated, maggot-ridden carcass of the tigress was recovered from the reserve's Gilai Saga-Khadar area, officials said.
A tiger named T-36 died of serious head injuries during a territorial fight with a tiger called T-42 Aug 22, 2010. The body of tigress T-4 was found April 4, 2009. Officials had concluded that she was attacked by another tiger in a territorial fight.
Similarly, tigress T-15 was killed Sep 1, 2008.
Ranthambore covers an area of around 400 sq km. With the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary, the park area is around 500 sq km.
Ranthambore National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of Project Tiger. It got the status of a national park in 1981.
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