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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tiger found dead in Bandipur

TNN | Jun 1, 2012, 01.52AM IST MYSORE: A tiger was found dead in Mulehole forest area of Bandipur tiger sanctuary In Chamarajnagar district. It was found about 1. 5 km from the forest guest house on the Mysore -Ooty Road. This is the second tiger death reported from Bandipur tiger sanctuary in May and the fourth in a row from Project Tiger areas of Nagarahole and Bandipur tiger sanctuaries in the last couple of months . The last tiger death was reported on May 4 in Bandipur sanctuary itself. While three were said to be natural deaths, one was poached by local hunters who were out to hunt wild boars, but chanced upon a tiger. According to an official source, the aging tiger might have died last week. Its body was highly decomposed. As the paws, nails and teeth were intact, forest officials suspect the big cat may have been killed while fighting with another tiger. Forest officials including Project Tiger director B J Hosmath who rushed to the spot conducted the postmortem of the tiger to ascertain the cause of death. "We conducted the postmortem in the presence of wildlife activists Sanjay Gubbi and Nagaraj Bhat to rule out speculations," Hosmath told The Times Of India ruling out poaching. Hosmath was upset at media claims that the tiger was killed using a jaw trap. "Death of this 7 to 8 year-old-tiger is without doubt due to a natural causes," he pointed out adding that it might have died due to septicemia and starvation . Hosmath said a lacerated hole was found on the head of the tiger and this might have led to septicemia ( blood -poisoning). He said there was not a drop of blood in the tiger's stomach and intestine which shows that the tiger was probably incapacitated due to the wound leading to its starvation. Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj who conducted the postmortem said: " When tigers sustain injuries and are wounded they will not hunt and starve." 20% of tigers die natural deaths In a year 20 to 25% of tigers die naturally . Tiger conservationist Sanjay Gubbi said natural deaths among tigers is a sign of a "healthy population" which indicates that the old are being replaced by the young ones . " Territorial fighting among tigers is a common phenomenon and the young fight with the old tigers to establish themselves," he said , adding that 15 to 20 tigers of Bandipur and Nagarahole tiger sanctuaries die naturally in a year.

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