Updated: April 22, 2021 12:20:17 pm
The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has arrested two people for allegedly poisoning a tigress in Singara forest range of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Nilgris in November 2020. The arrests were made on Tuesday.
The carcass of the seven-year-old tigress was found at Seemankuli Odai near Achakarai. Forest officials rescued two male cubs from the area and sent them to Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Perungalathur to be raised under special care.
Samples of the deceased animal were collected and sent for forensic lab tests. A couple of months later, the results confirmed poisoning as the cause of death of the animal.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, LCS Srikanth, deputy director of the MTS buffer zone, said four people were involved in the act.
“From the beginning, we suspected the animal was poisoned because there was no other way she could have been killed. After the lab reports confirmed the cause of death, a special team was formed, which started conducting enquiries with the cattle owners and herders in the area.
“In the preliminary investigation, we found one P Kariyan (25) was behind the incident. He was a native of this town and had been missing since last November. We found that he was in Karnataka and waited for his arrival. Fortunately, a couple of days ago, he visited his hometown and we arrested him,” Srikanth said.
“Based on the information he provided, another person Ahamed Kabir (26) was arrested. The search is on for two more people. Apart from Kariyan, who is a daily wage labourer, the rest of the accused were cattle owners. They were involved in the act to avenge the death of their cattle which are regularly hunted by tigers. So, in order to protect their cattle, they had kept a poisoned carcass of a cow in the area frequently visited by the tigress,” he added.
The accused are remanded in judicial custody.
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