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Two tiger cubs found dead in Pilibhit reserve

Villagers suspect poaching but foresters blame adult big cat for the deaths

india Updated: May 04, 2017 12:44 IST
Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar
Bareilly, Hindustan Times
Tiger cubs,Pilibhit Tiger Reserve,Mala range
Two cubs, a male and a female, were found dead in compartment 120 of Mala range of the tiger reserve forest.(HT Photo)

Carcasses of two tiger cubs were found in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve reserve on Wednesday, three years after poachers killed a big cat in the same reserve. The locals who saw the carcasses suspected poaching, but the forest officials claimed that an adult tiger had killed the cubs.

“Two cubs, a male and a female, were found dead in compartment 120 of Mala range of the tiger reserve forest. The carcasses were sent for postmortem examination,” said divisional forest officer(DFO) of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Kailash Prakash. “We have also registered a complaint regarding the matter and ordered an inquiry,” he added.

According to forest officials, an adult tiger of the forest section killed the cubs in a struggle for territory. “The cubs are of another tiger and strayed into the territory of the male tiger which killed them,” said the DFO. The officer added that no traps or shell casings or anything else which pointed towards poaching were found at the spot.

The cubs were brought to Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly for postmortem examination. “Prima facie it appears that the cubs died of external injuries. We have prepared the carcasses for postmortem examination. The details about the cause of death will be revealed once the postmortem examination is completed,” said Dr AK Sharma, in charge of Wildlife department of IVRI. Sharma will also supervise the autopsy scheduled for later in the night.

This is the second case of tiger death in the forest since 2014 when it was recognised as a tiger Reserve. In 2014, poachers killed an adult tiger. The investigation of the tiger’s death continued till 2016 and over a dozen poachers were arrested by the forest department.

The death of the cubs has again raised the fear of possible poachers’ gangs in the area. But the forest department is sticking to the theory of an adult tiger killing the cubs.

First Published: May 04, 2017 12:44 IST