March 9, 2021 12:22:16 am
A male tiger, approximately 12-15 months old, was found dead on a railway track passing through the Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) on Monday morning.
A press note issued by Deputy Conservator of Forest (Gondia) Kulraj Singh stated, “The sub-adult tiger was killed by… a train heading towards Gondia. His front right leg was found severed but wasn’t found on the spot. It is being searched for with the help of a dog squad. The spinal cord of the tiger was found broken.”
The photograph of the spot, however, shows the tiger lying between the two lines of the track. Asked how the tiger didn’t get crushed under the train, Kulraj Singh told The Indian Express, “It’s a small animal. So, the train could pass over it.”
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Nitin Kakodkar said, “The train driver saw three cubs. Apart from the one that died, the second one stopped on the spot while the third one went back into the forest. He didn’t see the mother near them.”
The tiger was one of the three cubs of a Nagzira tigress called T14. Officials did not find the tigress and the other two cubs loitering around the place.
The railway line, from Chandrapur to Gondia, passes through many areas with a tiger population, and has earned the ire of wildlife activists for several animal deaths on the track over several years.
Earlier too, three tiger cubs were crushed under this train in Junona forest of Chandrapur in 2018. Two leopards, one in 2016 and the other in 2019, were also killed by the train. About 12 years ago, a tiger was killed and another was injured when the train had rammed them while they were crossing the track.
After the Junona incident, a committee headed by then Chandrapur Chief Conservator of Forest Rama Rao had suggested urgent mitigation measures like construction of wildlife passes at several accident-prone places along the track. No headway had been made so far in this regard.
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