Tiger meets a tragic end

The carcass of a tiger, which died in the early hours of Tuesday at the Dara Wildlife Sanctuary, 52 km from Kota, in Rajasthan.

The carcass of a tiger, which died in the early hours of Tuesday at the Dara Wildlife Sanctuary, 52 km from Kota, in Rajasthan.  

JAIPUR JULY 16. The tiger which was a cause for jubilation for the wildlifers in Hadauti region of Rajasthan died a tragic death in the early hours of Tuesday after straying on to the rail track.

The lone feline which roamed the forests of Kota after entering Rajasthan territory seemingly from the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh's Gandhi Sagar sanctuary in April this year, was killed inside the Darah sanctuary while trying to escape the wheels of the Rajdhani Express heading from Mumbai to Delhi.

Curiously enough, the appearance of this tiger in the woods of Kota after a gap of 17 years was one of the arguments put forth by the Forest Minister, Bina Kak, last month to strengthen her plea for declaring Darah as the third National Park in the State. The tiger, a male, weighed 149 kg and was 8 feet 10 inches in length.

The mishap took place around 4 a.m. on July 15. According to Ravindra Singh Tomar, a naturalist who has been following its movements ever since it crossed over to Rajasthan, the animal did not come under the train. After running some distance in front of the train, the tiger jumped across it — in the process hitting the hillock on the side of the mountainous track.

"The body was found opposite Abli Meeli, a historical building situated inside the sanctuary," Mr. Tomar, also a member of the Hadauti Naturalist Society, informed The Hindu on telephone from Kota.

Mr. Tomar was the only one to photograph it when the carcass of the tiger was moved on the rail trolley to Darah station in a style reminding one of the Raj days. The carcass was later transported to Kota by truck.

The train driver had tried to save the animal by slowing down but it was to no avail. As such, the Mumbai-Delhi double-track rail line always remains busy in this area.

"The tiger fractured its skull into many pieces by his leap. The hillocks on both sides of the track are 50 feet high and there was no place for the tiger to escape,'' Mr. Tomar, who has taken pictures of the same tiger's kill on seven occasions, said.

``The hind portion of the animal hit the side of the train but the cause of death was head injury,'' Mr. Tomar added. A few rib bones of the animal were also broken.

As Hadauti mourned its one and only tiger of the decade, the conservationists find solace in the fact that the woods of Darah are lovely, dark and deep enough for the tigers.

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