Tiger suspected to be poached in Tiroda range
12 December 2009, 05:38am IST
NAGPUR: While the dust is yet to settle on the seizure of two tiger skins at Nagpur railway station, one more case of suspected tiger poaching in Tiroda forest range in Gondia district has come to the fore. The spot is five kms away from Nagzira wildlife sanctuary and falls in the territorial area.
This is perhaps the 14th tiger death in last one-and-half years since May 2008. Five deaths were that of cubs after their mothers went missing in Adhyalmendha & Mendki villages in Brahmapuri forest division and Chiroli in Sindewahi. Similarly, two tigresses went missing from Junona and Dhaba in Chandrapur district. Eight deaths have been officially recorded by the forest department.
According to sources, the incident took place in compartment No.108 in Govindtola beat of Tiroda. The incident came to light on Thursday when forest staff, acting on a tip-off, found a bullock suspected to be killed by a tiger.
Sources said there was injury on the neck of the bullock and back portion of the carcass was eaten by the carnivore. Close to the bullock there is a nullah and the officials found stomach, heart and pieces of bones of the carnivore kept covered there. They suspect the parts to be of a tiger. They also found bunch of yellow and white hair near the spot and unclear pugmarks on the nullah bed.
Officials involved in panchnama and investigations at the spot suggest that the tiger might have been killed by poisoning. A patch shows the carnivore was dragged from near the bullock to the nullah and skinned. All the vital body parts like skin, paws, nails, teeth of the tiger are missing. The poachers dumped the unwanted parts at the spot and fled.
Sources said till now there are no claimants of the bullock. It is suspected to be a handiwork of local poachers who left evidence to suspect they were not thorough professionals. “If they would have been professionals, no evidence of the carnivore had been left behind,” an official said. Senior officials suspect it may also be a case of revenge killing by villagers. They said field staff had record of tiger sightings in the area a couple of times in the past.
Mukesh Ganatra, deputy conservator of forests (DyCF), Gondia Forest Division, was in a protective mode. He did not respond to the repeated calls made to him. Poaching has increased in Gondia division. During the year there have been many instances of wildlife poaching. A few months ago two sloth bears were poached in the area.
Assistant conservator of forests (ACF) AS Khune said the culprits will be behind the bars in two days. “We have collected at least 10 samples of the carnivore and bullock meat. Those will be sent to the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, or Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad,” Khune said.
“It’s 100% a carnivore but it will only be confirmed once we receive the reports. The spot is deep inside the forest and a power line passes through the area,” Khune said.