Madhya Pradesh forest officials on Tuesday arrested six people from the Kanha Tiger Reserve for allegedly poaching a tiger, cutting its four paws and a patch of its skin.
On Saturday, the carcass of the six-eight years old male tiger was found in Khatiya range of the reserve, with four paws missing and its carcass in a semi-decomposed state. The state has this year recorded 23 big cat deaths, an alarming number for conservationists.
Kanha reserve, located in the Maikal ranges of the Satpuras is spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts, has a minimum of 80 tigers and 25 cubs.
Kanha reserve field director Sanjay Shukla said the tiger had died due to electrocution.
“The villagers had set a live wire to kill a wild boar for meat near Manegoan village of the buffer. When they saw a tiger had been killed instead, they tried to hide it under a thick growth of bushes nearby. Then some of them thought they could get good money if they sell paws and a patch a skin,” he said.
Shukla said they didn’t disturb the carcass from its position and called a dog squad from Jabalpur.
“On Sunday morning, the dog squad gave us some leads and we intensified our investigation and announced a reward of Rs 30,000 to anyone who can lead us to the accused,” he said.
The accused are Devi Singh, Gyan Singh ,Chhotelal and Sundar Lal from Manegaon village, Dharam Singh from Patpara village and Dheer Singh from Lamna village.
Tiger deaths in Kanha reserve this year
October 22: The carcass of a tiger was found in the Khatiya range with four missing paws missing
June 16: Tiger dies in Kanha National Park
May 21: Over 12 month old tigress dies due to territorial fighting
April 26: A tiger dies in Kisli forest
April 18: 8-year-old tigress dies while defending its two cubs from another male tiger in Mukki range
April 16: 14-year-old male tiger dies of old age and starvation in Supkhar range
April 8: Tiger cub of Pench tigress dies from septicemia infection at Kanha Tiger Reserve, where it was shifted. A Tiger cub dies in Gorella Mukki forest
March 9: A tiger dies in Kisli forest