Carcass of a three-year-old tigress was found hidden under stones near Pench Tiger Reserve in eastern part of Chhindwara district on Saturday. This is the first case of tiger poaching reported from Madhya Pradesh this year and the third case of tiger death since January.
The tiger had died due to electrocution in eastern Chindwara, near the PTR, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), Narendra Kumar, told HT. Four people have been arrested on charges of poaching, while the fifth accused is still on the run, forest officials said.
Sub divisional officer (SDO), Chindwara (east) Dhirendra Pratap Singh told HT over the phone that villagers of Hirri, located adjacent to Pench buffer zone, had put up electrified fences to protect their cattle from wild animals. “When the tigress strayed out of the buffer zone, its right paw got stuck in the wire and was electrocuted…Later the villagers hid the body under stones for about 35 hours,” Singh said.
A case on charges of poaching has been lodged against five people, he said. “Four people who have been arrested are Jitendra Gaud, Mukesh Dhurve, Buddo Uike and Rajendra Gaud. Another accused Sangram is absconding,” he said.
According to wildlife experts, poachers prefer electrocution to other weapons, as they kill noiselessly. In May 2014, poachers had electrocuted a tigress in Bandhavgarh. They had laid a trap and connected it to an 11-KV line.
Since 2015, 14 tigers have died in Madhya Pradesh. A tiger had died in the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve on January 2. On the same day, carcass of another tiger was found in Deolapar range of Maharashtra. The big cat had strayed into Maharashtra from MP, wildlife officials claimed.
Madhya Pradesh recorded country’s third highest tiger mortality with 11 tiger deaths in 2015, NTCA data states. Last month carcass of a tiger was found in a 40-foot-deep gorge in the Udainagar forests of Dewas district. The forest department officials, however, claimed the tiger died a natural death, possibly of old age. In November last year, a sub-adult tiger was found dead in the Kanha tiger reserve. The tiger’s carcass had injury marks and was partially eaten, prompting the park management to infer that it had been killed by another tiger.
In May last year a tiger succumbed to its injuries after it was hit by a train in Sehore district. The injured tiger was found lying near the rail track at Budhni’s Midhghat area near Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary. The rail authorities spotted the injured tiger and informed the local wildlife officials about it, who rushed to the spot.