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Monday, April 30, 2012

Valparai tiger loses battle

TNN Apr 29, 2012, 04.16AM IST COIMBATORE: The tiger that entered a homestead in Valparai and got gored by a cow died on Saturday morning. A postmortem on Saturday evening linked its death to a bad meal the big cat had a few hours before it went to retrieve the remains of a previous kill it left behind two days ago in the cowshed. The tiger, according to the postmortem report, had eaten a porcupine hours before attacking the cow. Quills of the porcupine had pierced the tiger's heart and intestine. The tiger breathed its last at around 8am on Saturday inside the cage where it was kept after given the tranquilizing shot late Friday evening, according to Manampallai forest ranger officer Arokiaraj Xavier. The medicines administered by veterinarian Dr N Kalaivanan, who had come from Mudumalai National Park in the Nilgiris on Friday evening to tranquilize the tiger, could not save the 10-year-old animal. The attack of the cow and the internal injuries it suffered after eating the porcupine had left the tiger weak. Throughout the day, the animal was confined to the cowshed of R Gnanasekaran, a resident of Periyar Nagar in Valparai. The absence of a vet with expertise in the use of tranquilizers locally had delayed officials from providing proper treatment to the animal. Forest officials did not dare to go anywhere near the injured animal to provide food, water or medicines fearing retaliation. The aged animal, officials, said could not fight off the fatigue and the injuries. At 1.30pm on Saturday, Kalaivanan returned to conduct the autopsy in the Manampally Forest Range Office premises in the presence of senior forest officials, World Wide Fund For Nature representatives Dr Ajay and Mohanraj and Valparai police inspector M Subramanian. The autopsy revealed that one of the legs of the tiger was damaged in the attack by the cow. Its nails were broken and blood stains found on the nail beds. There was a deep cut on the stomach which was caused by the sharp quills of the porcupine. There were numerous cysts in the intestine and the lungs too were damaged. Two quills had pierced its heart. According to Kalaivanan, the tiger would have hunted and eaten a porcupine before moving to Gnanasekaran's property. The tiger was cremated at a spot close to Meenparai on the way to Top Slip in the presence of a large crowd. Meanwhile, forest officials assured locals that they would take up the request to station a vet with expertise in tranquilizing animals in Anamalai Tiger Reserve, which includes the forests in and around Valparai. Residents of Valparai are prone to frequent attacks by elephants and leopards.

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