Even as India struggles to keep its tigers alive, in a shocking incident, two 17-month-old cubs were found dead, allegedly poisoned by villagers on the outskirts of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve on Sunday. Forest officials said it could have been revenge by the villagers, upset over the killing of their livestock by tigers. Officials say that such incidents may happen again, as straying of tigers from the over-populated reserve was expected. The tiger population in Ranthambore reserve has now come down to 39, which has capacity for only 30.
”It’s not a case of poaching as the body parts were intact. It appears to be a case of revenge killing,” said Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden R N Mehrotra.
With the death of the cubs, the worst fears over the growing tiger population and their shrinking habitat leading to their killings have come true. According to forest officials, the two cubs had strayed from the park about two months back and were seen roaming in its outskirts ever since.