All efforts towards conservation and protection of big cats seem to be falling short in Chandrapur district which provides a bustling tiger habitat and is house to the famous Tadoba tiger reserve.
Two tiger carcasses were found in the forests of Chandrapur district -- in eastern part of Maharashtra -- in the last 24 hours. According to reports reaching in Nagpur Saturday evening, one of the tiger carcasses was found in Junona jungles, some 250 kms from Nagpur. A team of veterinary doctors have rushed to the spot.
On Friday, a group of wild dogs reportedly killed a tiger cub near Gondpipri under Dhaba forest range. The forest patrol discovered the partially eaten carcass of the cub near Veigaon village Friday afternoon.
Forest department has ruled out poaching. The tiger cub carcass was fresh and forest officials suspect that the cub was killed not long before it was detected by the forest patrolling squad. "The cub was around eight months old and its body parts like teeth and nails were intact while skin was after being devoured by wild dogs," informed Pradip Kottewar, assistant conservator of forests.
The carcass of another tiger -- a 10-year old male tiger -- that was found in Junona jungle under forest development corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) Saturday has created panic among the forest officials.
"The reason of the death could not be known immediately," said Virendra Tiwari, field director of Tadoba tiger reserve.
Nature lovers feel that it might be the handiwork of poachers who are very active in the district. Five poachers, including a couple of forest personnel, involved in killing of a tiger near Tadoba in May, were arrested last week.
With the death of these two tigers, the toll of big cats has risen to 11 since January this year. Bodies of three tigers were found near Tadoba in the district in the last two months that led to the transfer of Tadoba field director VK Sinha last month.