`Goa tiger among 59 killed this year'
TNN 24 November 2009, 06:05am IST
PANAJI: Goa's much-talked about tiger poaching case has been numbered as one of 59 tigers killed in the country this year. This though a preliminary report of forensic tests into samples of bones found at Keri carried out by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehra Dun indicated they did not belong to a big cat.
The figures were released by Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. Madhya Pradesh accounted for a maximum of 13 tiger deaths this year.
While 22 tiger deaths were reported in 2006, the number rose to 30 in 2007 and fell marginally to 28 in 2008. The number, however, rose sharply this year with 59 big cats killed up to November 13, 2009.
The bones, teeth, fur and blood-stained leaves recovered on May 30 and on subsequent days by forest department officials from the site where the tiger was allegedly killed in Keri in February this year had been sent in June to WII for forensic tests.
Forest officials and guards were confident that finding the tiger carcass almost three months later was a breakthrough, but three months later, the WII report came as an anti-climax to animal lovers and others who had assisted in the process of recovery of the tiger bones.
However, Goa's chief conservator of forests Shashi Kumar, while saying that the configuration of teeth sent to WII does not match that of the tiger, had pointed out that the report was only primary in nature.