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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Activists fear foul play as another tiger dies

SUNDAY, 22 JULY 2012 23:19 PNS | DEHRADUN HITS: 114 A male tiger was found dead in the Terai West forest division on Sunday. With this, the total number of tiger deaths in and around the Corbett national park this year has increased to more than 10. While officials aver that the latest tiger fatality was the result of a territorial fight with another tiger, wildlife activists doubt this explanation because there have been reports of wounds inflicted by weapons; apart from that, the range where the body was found is very sensitive from the view point of poaching. According to official sources, the body of an eight-year-old tiger was discovered on Sunday morning in the Belpadav area of Bannakhera range in the Terai West forest division. According to the divisional forest officer Nishant Verma, prima facie the death appears to be the result of a territorial fight with another tiger. “However, the bone of one hind leg of the tiger is dislocated and there are some other injuries which prevent us from ruling out foul play, though the exact cause of the death will be known after the post-mortem report is received. We will conduct a broad investigation and trace the movements of this tiger to about a month ago, talk to the forest dwellers and inquire if any cattle were killed by this tiger,” he said. Sources state that more than 10 tigers have died in and around Corbett this year which include three in Corbett, one in Rajaji national park, one in Ramnagar forest division and four tiger cubs burnt alive and one in Amangarh area of Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh which borders Corbett. These figures do not include the couple of tiger poaching cases reported, but not yet confirmed. Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) Uttarakhand in-charge Rajendra Agrawal rejected the theory of territorial fight causing the latest tiger death. “The wounds on the tiger’s body point at human intervention and as the area where its body was discovered is a sensitive area. We want a detailed investigation into this death because there are strong signs of foul play,” he stressed.

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