T4, the tigress raised in captivity and known for being part of a successful path-breaking breeding experiment of a translocated tigress, died of an infection caused by its radio-collar at Panna Tiger Reserve, officials said on Friday.
The hand-reared tigress was found dead by the forest officials after they detected mortality signal — signal emitted by the radio-collar when animals are inactive for a long period — from T4 at 6.45pm on Thursday, said officials at the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR).
On Friday, a PTR team tracking the tigress found it dead near Madla range, they said.
Forest officials said T4 could have died due to an infection caused by the radio-collar.
"The officials couldn't detect tightening of the collar as there was no apparent change in T4's behaviour and signals were also coming properly," state principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Narinder Kumar told HT.
"But the details regarding how she died will come only after post mortem results come."
According to wildlife officials, T4 was a 15-day-old orphaned tiger cub found along with two other siblings when her mother was killed at Kanha reserve in May 2006.
The park officials picked up the litter of three cubs and hand reared them with a plan to reintroduce them into the wild.
T4 was first among them to be picked up for this task and Panna was selected to experiment this new window of tiger conservation.
The hand-reared tigress was reintroduced at Panna reserve where it struggled in the initial months. Another tiger T3 helped her to learn the art of hunting in the wild and her re-wilding process.
T4 later delivered two cubs in mid November 2011.