The tiger that was found dead at the Metikuppe range of Nagarahole National Park is suspected to have been caught in a snare.
The four-year-old tiger, which was found on Monday, reportedly had strangulation marks on its neck. Its injuries suggested that it had tried to wriggle out of the trap.
Sources said Forest Department officials agreed that death could be due to strangulation, but were unconvinced that it was a case of poaching. They said snares were laid for wild boars.
Meanwhile, wildlife activists allege that this line of argument would only suppress the figures on tiger deaths. It was well known that a metal snare could trap any wild animal, they pointed out. Besides, the carcass was found far from agricultural fields, near the forest, indicating that it was a trap set by poachers, they said.
The sources said the snares believed to have trapped the animal could not be found.
The incident has raised fresh concern about the presence of poachers in the Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks.