Autopsy reveals snakes in tiger's tummy
Monotosh Chakraborty, TNN 19 July 2009, 04:50am IST
KOLKATA: An autopsy on the body of the tiger found at Netidhopani forest in the Sunderbans on Friday morning has revealed that the big cat had two undigested cobras in his stomach, along with other semi-digested food.
The autopsy was conducted in the presence of a representative from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, two doctors, one member of WWF-India and senior state forest department officials, such as the principal chief conservator of forest Atanu Raha, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve director N C Bahuguna and Sunderban Tiger Reserve field director Subrat Mukherjee. According to the autopsy report, no external injury marks were found on the tiger, which was a full-grown male, more than 12 years old.
According to the initial autopsy report, the tiger had died due to age-related problems. As the animal had grown old, he was unable to hunt for prey regularly and was coming out of the dense forest in search of food. Officials will further conduct viscera tests to determine the exact cause of death.
On Thursday night, forest officials had heard the tiger growl from the forest. On Friday morning, his body was found near the forest camp house.
Forest department officials said that at present, there are three more aged tigers in Netidhopani forest.
The forest guards had chanced upon the animal near the fringes of Netidhopani forest on Thursday. It had been lying near a bush and was not moving. On Friday, the guards saw the animal lying at the same spot, leading them to suspect that it had died. They immediately informed the Sudhanyakhali range office, which arranged for a team to be sent to examine the tiger.
The guards burst crackers to check if the animal was still alive. When it did not move, they arranged for transferring it to the range office.
Three tigers have strayed in the Sunderbans in the last one month. The last one had been captured at Chargheri and was released at Sudhanyakhali after treatment on July 8. The animal had to be tranquilized and had been unconscious for several hours.