By P. Oppili
Another tiger has been poisoned to death in the State, taking the number of deaths to eight in the first five months of this year.
An eight-year-old tigress was found dead in Thengumarahada village in Kallapalayam Beat in the Nilgiris Eastern Slopes Range falling under the Nilgiris North Forest Division, said wildlife officials. The incident came to light last Thursday. The officials immediately conducted a post-mortem.
Wildlife authorities suspected that the death could be due to poisoning. However, to confirm the cause, they collected samples from the body parts and sent them to the toxicology laboratory of the forensics department in Coimbatore. Officials claimed that the body parts of the tiger were in tact. This is the third such instance of poisoning the tiger to death.
Wildlife filmmaker Shekar Dattatri said: “While several tigers are dying in the State within a few months is a matter of concern, what is important is to honestly analyse the cause of each death and see what mitigation measures can be taken. It is natural for some tigers to die every year due to old age or fights with other tigers. Cases of poaching or retaliatory poisoning should be taken very seriously.”
“Retaliatory killing of tigers through poisoning by local people who have lost livestock to the big cats can only be minimised if there is a prompt, fair, credible and well publicised compensation scheme. If there is too much red tape or corruption in the compensation process, people will take matters into their own hands and more tigers will die,” Shekar warned.
This takes the number of deaths to eight in the first five months of this year