08 December 2018
Bhubaneswar: The three-year-old Royal Bengal Tiger ‘Mahavir’ in Satkosia Tiger Reserve that was shifted from Madhya Pradesh’s Kanha Tiger Reserve and was found dead on November 14 was the victim of poaching, preliminary investigation by a two-member Central team has revealed.
Dr Amit Mallick, Inspector General of Forest, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and K Ramesh from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in their report asserted that the tiger T1, also known as Mahavir, died after it was caught in traps mostly used by poachers.
The report submitted to NTCA head Anup Kumar Nayak also mentioned, “T1 tiger got trapped in snare or other traps set up for wild pig in the area around Brahmi/Kharuani village on November 9. Since the body was found on November 14, it cannot be ruled out that the tiger might have got injured in his neck while trying to break the trap. Following that, the tiger died of multiple organ failure resulting from septicemia caused by the maggot-infested wound in its neck.”
The report further stated, “The case shall have to proceed with investigation accordingly for poaching. To emphasise, preliminary investigation based indicators of crime and multiple factors involved, indicate that the instant case is due to poaching.”
After talking to villagers, screening the site, looking at camera trap photos, direct sightings and indirect evidences, the investigating team ruled out tiger succumbing due to natural death or any possible infighting with another dominant male.
The enquiry report also calls for various anti-poaching measures such as monitoring by elephants and sensitisation of the locals before tigers could be shifted to the region.
It is notable to mention here that 'Mahavir' was tranquilized in Kanha Tiger Reserve on June 20 and was later relocated 800 kilometers away to Satkosia on June 21. After a few days in Raiguda enclosure, the wild cat was freed into the forest area.
Meanwhile, Royal Bengal tigress 'Sundari' who is also part of the same inter-state tiger relocation program, is currently spending her days in the Raiguda enclosure after being tranquilized on November 6. The tigress has caused widespread panic and fear amongst the locals after having allegedly mauled two people to death.