The mysterious death of a tigress in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve on Tuesday has left the future of its three cubs in a quandary.

While there is still no official statement about the lactating tigress’ death, Bandhavgarh director Chandrakant Patil did not rule out the possibility of unnatural death as the cause.

Although primary autopsy of the six-year old tigress has not helped the officials zero in on the reason for the death, sources said it could have been a case of poisoning.

“We have sent the viscera and some other body parts to forensic labs in Sagar and Jabalpur,” said Mr. Patil, adding that “anything conclusive canbe said only after the forensic results are out.”

The Bandhavgarh Reserve is home to around 50 tigers.

The sources said the cubs might be shifted to a zoo. Mr. Patil, however, said: “They won’t be shifted to a zoo; we will keep them in Bandhavgarh, perhaps in an enclosure to ensure their safety.”

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