An eight-year-old tigress was found dead on Thursday at Mudholi, at the famous Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district. Foresters have ruled out any foul play.
Foresters said some injuries were found on the tigress' body and it is believed that the animal may have been injured while fighting with her prey. A half-eaten wild boar was found near the carcass.
According to the reports reaching the state forest headquarters, a forest guard noticed the body while patrolling on Thursday morning. He immediately informed the local forest office. A team of senior forest officials accompanied by veterinary doctors reached the spot and inspected the area.
Initially, it was suspected that the tigress may have been poisoned. "There were serious wounds on her body, which she may suffered during a fight with another animal and some half-eaten prey was found near her," said GO Dharad, chief conservator of forests and the field director of Tadoba tiger project.
Officials added that the big cat's nails and skin were intact. Wildlife experts are of the opinion that the animal may have died at least 24 hours before the carcass was discovered.
The autopsy was performed by a team a veterinary doctors, in the presence of senior forest officials.
Approximately 15 big cats were killed by either the villagers or poachers near the periphery of Tadoba in 2014 after man-animal conflicts. Several villagers were also killed by the tigers last year.
Tadoba, one of the oldest tiger reserves in the country, is home to more than 60 tigers and an equal number of leopards.