T-35, a tigress that had strayed into forests of Sultanpur region in Kota district from Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR), Sawai Madhopur, was found dead in suspicious circumstances along the banks of Kali Sindh River.
The body of the tigress was found in territorial forests of Kaalaji area along Kheyavada village on Wednesday afternoon next to a Bluebull it had killed a few days ago. Locals suspect its death by poisoning.
Divisional forest officer (DFO), Kota, Lalit Singh said the postmortem will be conducted on Wednesday but reasons of the death would be known only after a forensic science laboratory (FSL) report.
Chief conservator of forests PK Upadhyaya told HT that divisional forest officer (DFO), Kota Lalit Singh will investigate the death of T-35.
The tigress strayed into Sultanpur forests in January 2010 and never returned, possibly because of territorial fights with other tigers in RTR.
Upadhyay said the tiger was between 10 and 12 years old, mature enough for death, adding that a field staff was deployed to keep a tab on movement of the tigress. He added that villagers chose not to catch T-35 as it drove away poachers, criminals and wild animals damaging crops of farmers. There is no other tigress in the district.
T-35 lived in ravines of Sultanpur forests along Kali Sindh River and used to enter Aaton forest block of Baran district. The state wildlife department had even called experts of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) between 2009 and 2011 to tranquilize and catch it but experts failed to operate in rough terrains of the region.
Broken Tail, another tiger from the reserve, was mauled by a train on railway tracks of Dara Sanctuary, Kota in 2003.
Former Indian Forest Services officer VK Salwan said two tigers strayed from RTR to Kota in the last 15 years but both died due to lack of tiger corridors from the confluence of Chambal River and Kali Sindh River in Kota to Gagron area of Jhalawar.
The state government has proposed setting up of Mukundra Tiger Reserve in Kota but tigers are yet to be rehabilitated here.