Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kaziranga loses 2 more tigers

Nov 12, 2010, 05.41am IST

GUWAHATI: The already-diminishing tiger population of India has seen a further cut with two carcasses of the big cat being found from different spots inside the Kaziranga National Park, about 250 km from here, in the past 24 hours. 

A highly-decomposed carcass was found near Laudubi camp under Kohra forest range of the park on Wednesday, while the carcass of a full-grown male with a deep injury mark was discovered in the Gerakati area under the Bagori forest range of the park on Thursday. The tiger that was found dead at Gerakati was estimated to be around five years old. 

Officials from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex tiger conservation body, rushed to the park to investigate the deaths of the big cats. Although the post-mortem reports are yet to come, officials from NTCA ruled out any poaching angle in the tiger deaths. 

"We don't think the tiger deaths are related to poaching. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the causes of both the deaths were natural. The injury mark in the second tiger's body could have been inflicted by the horn of a wild buffalo. These buffaloes often defend themselves from tiger attacks by rushing at them with their long and pointed horns," an NTCA official said. 

Kaziranga divisional forest officer D D Gogoi said all the body parts of the two tigers were found to be intact and the post-mortems were conducted in the presence of officials from NTCA, WWF-India and other NGOs along with park officials. 

"There was no involvement of poachers in the two tiger deaths," Gogoi claimed. With this, the tiger casualty toll has increased to four this year in Kaziranga. In February 20, 2010, a decomposed tiger carcass was found in the park. Between November 2008 and September 19, 2009, a total of 12 tigers died in Kaziranga.