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Amidst man-animal conflict, carcass of tigress found in Pilibhit reserve

Forest officials said the tigress did not belong to Pilibhit reserve and was probably from Surai Range in Uttarakhand. The carcass reached Pilibhit through the canal, they said

lucknow Updated: Jul 16, 2017 11:16 IST
Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar
Hindustan Times, Bareilly
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve,tigress carcass,man-animal conflict
Villagers reportedly found the carcass of a tigress floating in a canal and reported it to the local forest guard(HT Photo)

Amidst the ongoing man-animal conflict near Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, forest officials found the carcass of a tigress reportedly from a canal in the eastern part of the reserve on Wednesday evening.

“The carcass was seen floating in a canal by some villagers who reported it to the local forest guard. The body has no signs of external injury and it seems the tigress died a natural death,” conservator of forests VK Singh said.

Claiming that the tigress was not from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, he said prima facie it appeared the animal was from Surai Range in Uttarakhand and its carcass reached there through the canal.

However, the post-mortem report from the Indian Institute of Veterinary Science (IVRI), Bareilly, questioned the claim of forest officials that the carcass was found floating in water.

Head of wildlife department Dr AK Sharma, who performed the post-mortem at IVRI on Thursday afternoon, said the body was not old enough to float in the water.

“The stomach of the tiger was completely empty which suggests that she might have been ill. Apart from this, nothing much could be deduced from the autopsy. We have sent the viscera for further investigation to ascertain the exact cause of death,” he said.

“The claws, mouth and head of the animal were intact and there were no marks of external injury. The internal organs were degrading which suggests that the animal must have died 24 hours prior to the recovery of the body on Wednesday,” Sharma said.

The forest officials said the tigress was at least 10 years’ old and was fully mature.

“We have recorded the stripe pattern of the tigress which is being matched with the tigers of Pilibhit reserve,” the conservator of forests said.

Earlier in the day, rumours started doing the rounds that angered villagers had killed the tigress but the forest officials refuted the reports.

At least 15 people living near the reserve have been killed in tiger attacks in the last 10 months. The incidents have pitched the residents against the officials of tiger reserve.

There are over 50 adult tigers in Pilibhit reserve. Six of these are said to be present in the area where most of the tiger attacks have occurred. The forest officials have categorically denied that the carcass was of one of these six tigers.

“The place where the carcass was found is almost 50 kilometres away from the place of recent tiger attacks. Both the places are not connected with any water body. So it doesn’t make sense to connect the attacks with the dead tigress,” said Singh.

Read more | Tiger attacks in Pilibhit reserve: 15 deaths in 10 months send alarm bells ringing

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 15:29 IST