By H.M. Aravind
In a suspected case of poaching, the carcass of a six-year-old tigress was found in a channel of Taraka dam near the Nagarahole tiger reserve in Karnataka's Kodagu district on Saturday.
The big cat is believed to have died 36 hours before it was spotted by local residents in the canal. Blood poisoning following a bullet wound is seen as the reason behind the death. Without ruling out poaching, officials said they will await the postmortem result before arriving at a conclusion.
It is unlikely that the tigress died due to septicemia, sources said.
"The wound is only superficial, but the pellet could have led to blood poisoning," said D S Gaonkar, DCF (Mysore Circle).
He said that the viscera samples of the tigress will be sent to the regional centre of Forensic Science Laboratory in the city for a detailed analysis.
"We're surprised to find the pellet since there were no external injuries. During postmortem, it was found out that the pellet did not enter the body. This led us to conclude that it is not killed by gun shot," Gaonkar said.
Sources said given the nature of the wound, it looks like that the tigress was shot at from a distance. Additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Ajai Misra rushed to the spot and was present when the postmortem was conducted. Officials said the tigress is believed to be living in Taraka backwaters.