Days after lone tiger spotted in Gujarat, a carcass found
A tiger’s decomposed carcass was on Tuesday found from Lunawada forest in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district, a fortnight after the presence of the lone tiger was confirmed in the area, an official said.
Principal chief forest conservator GK Sinha said it was the same tiger as there was no other tiger found in that area.
“A carcass was found from Signali area of Lunawada forest. The time and cause of the death will be known after the availability of its post-mortem report,” said a forest official.
The big cat’s presence earlier this month raised hopes among animal lovers about the revival of the tiger’s habitat.
According to forest department records, tigers were last seen in the region in 1989, when their population was estimated to be 13. The 1992 tiger census had reported the extinction of the animal from the state.
The forest department spotted the tiger in Lunwada through night vision cameras after a local teacher, Mahesh Mahera, captured its image on his cell phone while crossing the forest near Boriya village.
Five cameras had been installed around a water body where the teacher had reported the sighting. The forest department had earlier found pugmarks and hair of the tiger in the area.
Gujarat forest minister Ganpat Vasava had said the tiger was about 7 to 8 years old and may have come either from Rajasthan, Maharashtra or Madhya Pradesh. “There were some reports of a tiger going missing from a forest area near Ujjain. We are trying to confirm it,” he had said.
The Gir National Park and Sanctuary, home to Asiatic lions, is located around 500 km from Lunawad-Santrampur forest where the tiger was spotted.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority, a statutory body under the ministry of environment and forests, included Gujarat in its tiger census in 2018 — the first time since 1992. The census report is expected to be released in May-June this year.