Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tiger found dead in Kheri forest

Tiger found dead in Kheri forest
18 May 2008, 0301 hrs IST,Neha Shukla,TNN
LUCKNOW: Conservation efforts have failed to check accidental deaths of tigers in Uttar Pradesh. On Saturday morning, body of an adult male tiger was found floating in Sharda canal in Mailani range of South Kheri forest division. This latest casualty paints a grimmer picture for the surviving 109 tigers in the state.
In this case, the forest department has ruled out natural death. "The animal was healthy so we cannot say it died a natural death," said RC Jha, DFO, South Kheri.
The body has no external injury marks. It's only the belly of the animal that is swollen, added Jha. The body has been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly for autopsy.
The report is expected by Sunday evening. The part of the canal where tiger's body was found floating has swift currents. Tigers can swim through but according to the official version so far, the animal would have lost its balance in the canal due to swift currents and drowned to death. Tiger deaths could be either natural, accidental or a foul-play where animals are even poisoned. "This death is accidental," the DFO claimed.
Poisoning of big cats is usually a possibility when man-eating incidents have been reported from the area of accident or places close to it. It is noteworthy that Mailani range has already been put on the alert by forest department after two man-eating incidents have been reported from there and one from its adjacent range Mohammadi since March. The latest man-eating incident from Mailani was reported on Monday.
In the aforementioned casualty, since poisoning has been ruled out, it is Sharda canal which emerges as the killer. The canal, otherwise the lifeline of Tarai belt, has claimed lives of several tigers in the past.
It has been existing since early 1900s. The velocity of the current has been usually high in this canal. In 1986-87, three tigers had died at the same spot in the canal due to drowning. The deaths were reported within a short span of almost one and a half years. "The deaths were similar in nature to the one that has happened today," said GC Mishra, former field director, Dudhwa.

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