By Akram Mohammed
Medical reports submitted to the Forest department officials on Tuesday reveal that the injured tiger rescued last month near Basavanagiri Haadi in H D Kote taluk had suffered gunshot wounds.
This has ruled out the possibility that the injuries were due to a territorial battle. “According to the report, the feline had suffered a gunshot wound with multiple fractures on its lower humerus,” said V Karikalan, Deputy Conservator of Forest. A gunshot pellet was embedded in the right shoulder of the animal and authorities were advised to amputate the forelimb of the tiger.
The tiger was rescued on March 26 and was shifted for treatment to the Chamundi Animal Conservation, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Koorgalli at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.
A case will be registered in H D Kote Range Forest office under Section (9) of the Wildlife Protection Act. The department will have to ascertain the type of weapon used. They suspect that a country-made rifle was used, he said.
Extensive medical tests were conducted on the tiger on Tuesday, and according to reports, the condition of the animal has improved significantly. It has started eating meat and is responding well to treatment.
Since March 26, the animal had continued to remain in poor health. “The tiger was sedated during capture in order to avoid complications. We decided to delay the tests as we did not want to sedate the animal in quick succession,” he said.
He said the department would co-ordinate with the police to identify persons who possess arms in the region.
Forest department sources said that apart from licensed gunholders, several persons possessed illegal country rifles and used them to hunt wild boars. “Maybe, the accused have shot the tiger on purpose or by accident. Either ways, it is a non-bailable offence,” he said.