A tiger in Pilibhit dies after being rescued, had multiple injuries – noida
A male tiger in its prime that wooed the social media with its photograph on a tractor during a rescue attempt in Pilibhit died on Sunday evening after being shot with two tranquilising darts, officials said.
Post-tranquilisation, multiple wounds were found on its body, including a maggot-infested one on the neck. The body of the dead animal was sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, for a post-mortem examination. The report is awaited.
According to officials, the tiger was spotted near a human settlement under the Mala forest range for the past few days. It was only after it attacked three locals that pressure from villagers mounted on forest officials to rescue the tiger.
Officials said that on the morning of May 1, the tiger had attacked three villagers. Later, it went back to the forest, not far from the settlement. However, it returned on May 3, after which the department decided to carry out the rescue operation, seeing the rising anger among the locals.
“The locals were getting agitated and we had to act fast. We shot a full dose of tranquiliser and attempted to get closer. However, it did not doze off. In fact, a moment later, the tranquilised tiger even attempted to charge. We had to give it another dose of lesser intensity. We took the animal to the guest house for further treatment after it showed complications. However, an hour later, it died,” said H Rajamohan, field director, Pilibhit tiger reserve, Uttar Pradesh.
Rajamohan said that three veterinarians, including the supporting staff of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), helped with the operation, after oral permission from the chief wildlife warden to tranquilise the tiger was taken.
Being asked as to why the veterinarians from the animal husbandry department and not the forest department were used, officials said that the team involved was competent enough.
“The team involved was competent. The idea was to rescue it, treat it, and release it back into the wild. The doctors involved had been in other missions earlier as well,” said Lalit Verma, chief conservator of forests, Rohilkhand zone. He added that the department often outsources vets in such cases.
“It was a majestic and a big tiger. I had never seen such a large tiger before,” he added.
According to Dr Sunil Rathaur, the vet who tranquilised the tiger, there were some deep wounds on the tiger, including one that suggests that the tiger must have been earlier attacked by a long sharp spade-like weapon.
“The dose of tranquiliser was well monitored to ensure that there is no possibility of an overdose. We had been monitoring the animal for a while and it seemed sluggish. Later, we found that there were four wounds on it right side, including one on its neck, shoulder and chest. The chest wound was deep. The animal also had a fractured rib and deep wounds. It appears as if it was attacked,” said Rathaur, the chief vet of animal husbandry department, Pilibhit.
Asked as to how far the forest area was from where the tiger was being spotted, he added that the region was a part of a wildlife corridor. “There are no fringe forests in Pilibhit. There are proper dense forests and agricultural fields,” he added.
This was the second tiger that was attempted to be rescued in the reserve this year. Last month, another tiger was rescued after it attacked a few humans near the forest area. The tiger was later sent to Kanpur Zoo. Speculations for its release into the wild are on, the field director said.
With cases of man-animal conflicts being often reported from Pilibhit, this is the second tiger death in the reserve this year. In May 2019, in a shocking incident, a mob of angry villagers ventured two kilometres inside the forest and lynched a tigress to death.
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