In a suspected case of tiger poaching, the big cat pelt has been found hidden inside forested area adjoining Nagarahole national park in Virajpet taluk in Kodagu.
The forest and police are jointly conducting an investigation and suspect locals could have killed the tiger and skinned it. While the forest sleuths have recovered the pelt, the big cat's other parts including bones have not been located.
Acting on a tip off, the forest sleuths recovered the pelt that was hidden in a rocky terrain in Tithimati forest. The spot is 3km inside Hunsur-Virajpet road. The officials led by DCF Mohan Kumar searched Devamachi reserve forest area and dug out the pelt. It is valued at Rs 4 lakh. The tiger's pelt is located some 10km outside the Anechowkur range in Nagarahole national park.
Field director (project tiger) BJ Hosmath told The Times of India that they are investigating whether the tiger was poached. "As of now, we don't know the reason for the death of the tiger. We are not ruling out poaching and are probing from that angle too," he said.
Part of the reason for the officials to suspect foul play is the fact that they are not able to decide for sure how the tiger has died. But, there are no bullet injuries either.
Recently there are two cases in the tiger belt where big cats were killed using poison. Though the tiger is believed to be 14 years of age, the officials are not sure and are suspecting involvement of anti-social elements. "We are not sure of the age of the tiger looking at the pelt," Hosmath stated.
The tip off was almost exact as the caller told the officials that the pelt is hidden at a certain beat, which the field staff are well aware of. More....