Carcasses of two tigers were found in MP’s Kanha Tiger Reserve on Monday, taking the total tiger death toll in the state to 14 this year.
Field director of Kanha Tiger Reserve, JS Chauhan told HT over phone that a 14-year-old male tiger died of old age and starvation in the Supkhar range of the reserve, while an eight-year-old tigress died while defending its two cubs from another male tiger in Mukki range of the Reserve.
Chauhan said the carcass of the tigress was found on Monday morning, while the tiger was found two days ago.
Chauhan said both the deaths were natural. “Tigress’ defend its cubs from male tigers, who tend to kill them in order to make the tigress ready for mating. This tigress fought with a male tiger, got injured and succumbed to its wounds,” he said.
He said the male tiger was old and was unable to hunt. “When tigers grow old, they become weak and are unable to hunt and generally die due to starvation”, he said.
On April 13, one of the two tiger cubs, who were shifted to Kanha Tiger Reserve after their mother died in Pench Tiger Reserve due to suspected poisoning, had died at Kanha from “septicemia”.
With death of 14 tigers since January 1, MP has recorded highest tiger mortality for any state in the country this year. MP, which was known as the ‘Tiger State’ with maximum numbers of striped cats, lost the tag to Karnataka with 300 tigers in 2010 wildlife census.
Meanwhile, taking a serious note of a spate of tiger deaths in Madhya Pradesh, the National Tiger Conservation Authority has set up a panel that has launched a probe into the incidents. The two-member committee has already started their investigation and visited the Pench Tiger Reserve.
Big cat dies in Bhopal’s Van Vihar
Basani, a tigress housed at Van Vihar National Park died of cardiac arrest on Monday. The big cat was 13 and was brought to the national park in 2003 from village Karmai near Delawadi where she was found abandoned in a nullah. Her hind legs were paralyzed since November 2015.