The Kaziranga National Park has lost another tiger. The authorities recovered the carcass of an adult tigress in the Agaratoli range of the park on Friday.
The authorities are yet to ascertain the actual cause of death and are awaiting forensic reports on the samples sent for laboratory tests. This was the fifth tiger carcass recovered this year, and the third in November.
Park sources said the samples sent for examination included deer hair that was found in its stomach. The reports will clarify on the possibility of poisoning, although chances of tiger's prey being contaminated with poison would appear to be remote.
The tigress was camera-trapped in 2009 during a study carried out by Aaranyak — a society for biodiversity conservation in northeast India — the Assam Forest Department and the Kaziranga National Park Authority.
The ‘camera trap' method to estimate population covered an area of 144 sq. km. of the central and western parts of the park.
The findings of the study were compiled into a report titled ‘Monitoring of Tigers and Prey Animals of Kaziranga National Park,' which says that there are 32.64 tigers per 100 sq.km. at Kaziranga — the highest tiger density in the world.
Earlier, on November 11, patrolling staff of the Gerakati camp of the World Heritage Site's Bagori range recovered the carcass of an adult tiger.
The summary report submitted to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), upon post-mortem and disposal of the carcass, stated that the preliminary investigation suggests the tiger died of severe injury.
According to the forest guard at the nearest camp, the tiger was injured by wild buffalo, a herd having been seen in the vicinity a few days before.
The body had signs of major injury in the rib cage area and left side of the neck, the report added.
Cause not ascertained
On November 10, the carcass of another adult tiger was recovered by the patrolling staff at the Laudubi camp of the Kohora range.
The preliminary investigation and post-mortem report could not ascertain the cause of death as the carcass was in a stage of advanced decay.
“The area close to the carcass had no signs of fighting, and the forest staff has not heard any tigers fighting in the area. The tiger might have died due to old age,” stated a report.