Tamil Nadu

Territorial rivalry cause of tiger’s death

A dead sub-adult tiger in putrefied condition with partially-scavenged hind portion was located by a forest patrol team in an interior part of Talamalai in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve on Saturday.

Officials said it is a “healthy signs” that it had died in an intra-species fight for territory.

The cervical vertebra of the dead tiger was found fractured and dislocated. Differing sizes of tiger pug marks, blood stains and scattering of hairs to a distance from a stream till where the smaller tiger had been dragged indicated the territorial fight between the tigers, officials explained. It happens when a sub-adult gets separated from its family and tries to demarcate an area for itself.

The stronger tiger feeding on the vanquished one happens incidentally after such fights, officials said.

“The territorial fight is a healthy sign as it indicates a growing tiger population vying with one another to demarcate their territories,” I. Anwardeen, Conservator of Forests and Director of STR, told The Hindu .

Camera traps

Presence of 60 tigers, including 27 female ones, has been recorded in the camera traps. Usually, the strongest ones survive and pass on genes to the next generation. Intra-species rivalry, especially among males, was a healthy sign. Tigers are breeding in ideal conditions in STR, Mr. Anwardeen said.

The healthy condition of dead tiger's intestine determined during post-mortem implies that it had not died of any ailment. The intestine was full of scat. Sick tigers usually die starving, added K. Rajkumar, District Forest Officer of Sathyamangalam and Deputy Director of STR.

Officials, however, could not make out if the dead tiger was a male or female. DNA samples have been taken for testing, Mr. Rajkumar said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 5:57:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/territorial-rivalry-cause-of-tigers-death/article6779367.ece

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