A tiger was found dead near the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in MP’s Umaria district on Monday, taking the number of big cat deaths in the state to four this year. So far nine tiger deaths have been reported from across the country this year.
Last year, Madhya Pradesh recorded country’s third highest tiger mortality with 11 tiger deaths, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The first big cat death in the country this year was also reported from MP’s Pench Tiger Reserve on January 2.
Carcass of the big cat was found about 100-km from the reserve near the National Highway 78 -- that connects Katni and Shahdol -- in a roadside trench by locals. The animal is suspected to have been hit by a vehicle on the national highway, sub divisional officer (SDO) Umaria AK Tiwari said.
“There are four points on the NH-78 that are used by tigers as corridors to move from one part of the reserve to another. The tiger was found on one of the four such passes,” Tiwari said, adding that the animal seemed to be a female.
In May last year, a tiger succumbed to its injuries after it was hit by a train in Sehore district. The injured animal was found near a rail track in Budhni’s Midhghat area near Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary.
Once known as the ‘Tiger State’ with maximum number of striped cats, Madhya Pradesh lost the tag to Karnataka which is home to 300 tigers (as per 2010 Wildlife Census). The Census 2015 showed the number of big cats increased from 257 in 2010 to 308 in MP, but with 15 tigers deaths since 2015 the situation continued to remain bleak for big cats.
Tiger deaths in MP in 2016
Date------------Location---------Cause of death
February 22--- Umaria district--- Hit by vehicle
January 31--- Pench Tiger Reserve--- Infected with septicemia
January 9--- Eastern Chhindwara--- Electrocuted
January 2--- Buffer Pench Tiger Reserve--- Fell into well
Source: NTCA website and state government