Less than a week after Srinivas, the son of iconic tiger Jai, was found electrocuted at Naghbid forest range, another male adult tiger was found dead on Wednesday afternoon, just 60 km away. Forest officials said the tiger died in mysterious circumstances. A post-mortem could not reveal the exact cause of death as the carcass was found decomposed near Palebarsa village in Chandrapur.
- In 2017, the state has already seen six deaths, with poachers responsible for two. The most tigers died in 2016 — 16. Four tigers were poached in 2012 — the most in eight years.
- May 3, 2017: A male adult tiger was found dead at Sawali in Chandrapur.
- April 27: Srinivas, who was radio-collared last year, was found electrocuted in the Naghbid forest range, Chandrapur.
- November 4, 2016: An adult male tiger was found electrocuted near Kothari village in Chandrapur.
- September 10: A male tiger cub was found dead near Sindewahi in Chandrapur. Officials have still not determined the cause of death.
- September 4: Forest officials said a tigress died of natural causes near Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary.
- August 10: A male tiger succumbed to injuries after a fight with another animal at Brahmapuri forest division.
- July 7: A male tiger succumbed to injuries after a fight. Its body was found near the buffer zone of Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary.
- May 4: A female tiger was killed by another animal. The body was found near Mul range, close to the Tadoba buffer zone.
- April 26: A sub-adult male tiger was killed by another animal near Sindewahi in Brahmapuri forest division
- April 8: An adult male tiger was killed by another male after the two fought over their territory. Its carcass was found floating on the river at Sindewahi in Brahmapuri forest division.
- February 4: An adult tiger was killed in a road accident near Chichpalli village in Chandrapur .
So far, this is the second tiger to have died at the Chandrapur territorial forests this year. Of the six tiger deaths in the state this year, poachers were responsible for two. Last year, nine tigers in Chandrapur and 16 in the state died. Of these, three were killed by poachers.
According to the forest department, the tiger’s carcass was found around 4pm near Bhoot Talab (a lake). It is likely that the tiger had come there to drink water before he died.
Rajam Talmale, assistant conservator of forest, Chandrapur, said the forest department had ruled out poaching. “There are no areas where villagers could have attacked the animal,” said Talmale. He said the tiger could have been killed by another adult male during a fight to establish territorial dominance.
“It is clear that this was not the tiger’s territory. A dominant tiger or pack of tigers could have attacked him. Another possible reason for his death could be an attack by a tigress trying to protect her cubs,” said Tito Joseph, progamme coordinator, Wildlife Protection Society of India.
The forest department will examine camera trap images of tigers across all three of Chandrapur’s districts and try to identify the tiger and his territory on the basis of his stripes.
On April 27, more than a year after Jai the tiger went missing, his son, Srinivas was found electrocuted in the Naghbid forest range. His body was dug out from the ground by forest officials. On April 20, forest officials found his radio collar near a nullah between Kothulna and Maushi villages. It was damaged and missing nuts and bolts.