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Monday, March 11, 2013

Tiger carcass found in Sunderbans

StoryComments KOLKATA: The body of a full-grown tiger was found in the Sunderbans on Sunday. However, the year's first tiger death in this Unesco World Heritage Site has left the foresters with some task at hand. Even if the 10-year-old tiger's death in the forest of Jhila 5, on the fringes of the mangroves, seems natural, bleeding from its nose and blood stains on the rectum, also hint at possible poisoning. Confirming the news, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR) field director Soumitra Dasgupta said that the body has been brought to Sajnekhali beat office. "Details can only be given after the postmortem report on Monday," he said, adding that forest guards on patrol spotted the carcass in Jhila 5. However, no injury mark was found on its body. The members of National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA) schedule I animal handling committee have already left for the spot. A vet from the Alipore Zoo will also be present there on Monday to help the resident doctors in the post mortem. Though a forest official said it could be a case of snake bite as the number of King Cobras has risen in the mangroves in the recent past, conservationists are not ready to rule out the possibilities of poisoning. State wildlife advisory board member Sudipt Dutt said though death due to old age seemed natural, since there was bleeding from its nose possibilities of poisoning should also be checked during the postmortem. Echoing his view, another member of the board Biswajit Roy Chowdhury said that as the forest of Jhila 5 is on the fringes of the mangroves and close to the Bangladesh border, possibilities of poisoning can't be ruled out. "Though, snake bite and age factors should also be looked into," he added.

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