The post-mortem of a tiger found dead on Tuesday ruled out poaching as the cause of death, after a seven-member panel that examined the carcass said the big cat carried no physical injuries. Further tests are on to ascertain whether the tiger was poisoned, as forest officials have not ruled out the possibility that farmers could have done it protect their farms.
“All the 18 nails, four canine teeth, genital organ and skin were found intact,” a forest official said. “Hence it is definitely not poaching.”
However, the major organs of the big cat had degenerated by the time the carcass was found 72 hours after the animal died, said NTCA representative Dr Pratyush Patankar. “Pathological and toxicology analysis is awaited to rule out the possibility of poisoning,” he added. He also ruled out starvation as the cause of death.
A detailed report of the post-mortem analysis is awaited, as three sets of test samples have been collected for further investigation and will be sent to Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Laboratory at Gandhinagar, Anand Veterinary Hospital and LaCONES (Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species), Hyderabad.
The carcass of the tiger was burnt today as per the protocol of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The forest officials are looking into the possibility that the tiger was fed on a carcass of a pig poisoned by the farmers to protect their farms.
However, Chief Conservator of Forests SK Srivastava said the locals had been thrilled about the presence of the wild cat in their area. “The villagers were very sad with the death of the tiger too,” he said.
It had been determined that the dead tiger was the same animal captured on camera from its stripe patterns, an official said. No tiger has been sighted in this area in the past six months and no animal has been killed in that period, he added, saying the carcass was found around 15 km from the last point where it was captured on camera.
The tiger had been found dead on Tuesday in the forest near Kantar village of Lunawada taluka in Mahisagar, 15 days after it was captured on a trap camera. It was the same tiger that went missing from Ujjain and was expected to be journeying back home.