The carcass of a tiger with its paws missing was found at the Kanha Reserve on Saturday, taking the number of big cat deaths to 23 in Madhya Pradesh this year, an alarming number for conversationists.
Found within three kilometers from the core of the reserve, the carcass was at least two-to-three days old. Kanha Park superintendent said the tiger was about six-eight years old and it was a male tiger.
“Our field staff spotted the carcass of the tiger on Saturday evening. Some body parts of the tiger were missing. Its four paws were missing and over one square feet of its skin had also been taken from the side of the body. On Sunday, its last rites were performed as per the laid down guidelines. A post-mortem was also conducted. Only after the report, it will be clear how it died,” Kanha park superintendent PK Verma told Hindustan Times.
Verma said it was possible that after the tiger died, villagers cut its parts and took away a part of its skin.
“It doesn’t seemed to be the work of a professional poacher as such people also take away other body parts like teeth -- which were intact. A dog squad was called from Jabalpur on Saturday night and it also investigated the spot where the carcass was found. We did not disturb the carcass from its current position during night time. It was only after the arrival of sniffer dogs that we shifted it for last rites,” he added.
This is the second tiger death in the state this month, though the first was of a tigress which died from starvation -- the year-old animal had poor hunting skills.
So far eight tigers have died in Kanha since January, a troubling incidence as it raises the number of deaths in the state to 23 for this year alone.