Tigress found dead near Bandipur

Suspected to be run over by a vehicle

Updated - July 27, 2019 10:36 pm IST

Published - July 27, 2019 10:35 pm IST - MYSURU

A tigress was found dead close to the highway leading to Bandipur tiger reserve.

A tigress was found dead close to the highway leading to Bandipur tiger reserve.

A tigress was found dead close to the highway leading to Bandipur tiger reserve near Maguvinahalli in the early hours of Saturday in what is suspected to be a case of hit-and-run accident.

Though there is a ban on night traffic through Bandipur from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m; there are no restrictions on vehicle movement outside the national park. It is suspected that the tigress, aged around 4 years to 5 years, was run over by a vehicle when it was crossing the road outside the park boundary. The carcass was found next to Jungle Lodges which abuts the tiger reserve boundary and abuts the Gopalswamy Betta range of the national park. The Conservator of Forests T. Balachandra who is also the Director of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said nearly 250 vehicles approach the check post where they line up after 9 p.m. and wait for the gate to be reopened at 6 a.m to proceed on their onward journey to Kerala or Tamil Nadu.

The tigress is suspected to have died around 1 a.m. and hence it is suspected that any one of the vehicles during its approach to the chek-post could have run over the tigress as it is not uncommon for animals to be moving outside the park limits. “We have filed a complaint, registered an FIR and are making efforts to track down the vehicle,” said Mr. Balachandra.

Initially, it was suspected that the tigress died due to injuries inflicted on it by a wild boar as the partially eaten carcass of the boar was found in the vicinity.

But post-mortem indicated that there was no trace of boar flesh or any food in the stomach of the tigress. Wildlife veterinarian Nagaraj said there was injury in the cervical region with muscle tear and bones were broken near the shoulder none of which could have been inflicted by a boar. Hence he suspected that a vehicle had run over the tigress.

Sample of the viscera was collected for laboratory analysis to ascertain the exact cause of death and the carcass was disposed off by incineration. As per National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), three tiger deaths have been recorded at Bandipur this year and this is the fourth case. In all, Karnataka has lost 11 tigers so far this year of which 4 are from Nagarahole, and one each from Bhadra, Virajpet and HD Kote forest divisions.

Incidentally, the Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi had questioned the Centre whether it was aware of the hardships caused to people in north Kerala due to ban on night traffic through Bandipur and whether the Centre proposed to mediate to find an alternative to lift the ban “without disturbing wildlife”. The Centre has replied that the ban on night traffic will stay.

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