Tiger Jai’s son Srinivas found electrocuted in Maharashtra, forest officials suspect poaching | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Tiger Jai’s son Srinivas found electrocuted in Maharashtra, forest officials suspect poaching

Forest officials found Srinivas’ damaged radio collar with missing bolts and nuts on April 20.

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2017 17:03 IST
Snehal Fernandes
Jai the tiger went missing over a year ago. Srinivas was Jai’s son.
Jai the tiger went missing over a year ago. Srinivas was Jai’s son.(HT File)

More than a year after Jai the tiger went missing, his son, Srinivas, who was radio-collared last year, was found electrocuted in the Naghbid forest range that falls under the Brahmapuri forest division of Chandrapur district.

Forest officials are not ruling out that the two-year-old sub-adult tiger was poached by locals. “Yes, Srinivas died after being electrocuted. It could be a case of poaching,” Girish Vasishtha, spokesperson for the wildlife wing of the forest department, told HT. “Investigations are on, and the territorial forest officials are interrogating a farmer and his son.”

On Thursday afternoon, forest officials dug out Srinivas’ body. Vasishtha added, “Locals put up electric fences to ward off animals like deer and sambars. It’s possible that Srinivas could have also got electrocuted, and the locals buried the body on their land. It was the damaged radio collar that led forest officials to the two people.”

On April 20, forest officials found the sub-adult’s damaged radio collar with missing bolts and nuts near a nullah between Kothulna and Maushi villages in the forest range.

A Facebook post by a wildlife photographer read, “digging is on. Farmer confessed the crime and accepted that it was having radio collar. Radio collar found 200 mtrs from the spot of the incidence. Forrest area is 2kms away from the pot. Corridors are very important. Human habitations in corridors is the menace (sic).”

Between 2010 and 2017, 84 tigers died in Maharashtra, of which 25 were poached, found a study by NGO Wildlife Protection Survey of India (WPSI).The study was collated by the NGO through annual forest department reports, both from the Centre and the state.

In 2017, the state saw four deaths, with one of them poached. The highest number of deaths took place in 2016 — 16 deaths. Four tigers were poached in 2012 — the most in these eight years.

Tigers and leopards are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1986. According to the state forest department, there are 202 tigers currently across the state and approximately 905 leopards.

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