Dehra Dun : Just days after the centre gave its nod for making the Rajaji National park in Uttarakhand, the second tiger reserve in this small mountain state, the carcasses of a tiger and tigress were found within days of each other in the Corbett National park and its immediate proximity.
On Monday last, the body of a tigress was found at a waterhole at the Dhela range of the Corbett National Park. What had mystified the forest authorities was the fact that the body was found not near but inside the waterhole, leading to fears that the water in the hole could have been poisoned and the tigress died after drinking it.
While the authorities were trying to solve the riddle of the dead tigress, the forest staff found the carcass of a male tiger in the Aampokhra range under mysterious circumstances. It was feared that the tiger died about four or five days back and the forest authorities said that it possible could have been a territorial fight between two felines.
However, wild life lovers here were of the view that should there have been a territorial fight, which is not very uncommon, but in that case there should be an injured tiger or tigress in the forest, but the forest authorities had yet to either see one, or find the traces of an injured tiger. As such it was being apprehended that the tiger could have been poisoned.
The forest authorities in support of their claim of a territorial fight between two tigers maintained that about 200 metres from the spot where the carcass was found there are hutments of some gujjars, who live in the forest and they had heard the growls and snarls and were of the view that it was because of a fight between two felines.
Though the reason of the death would only be ascertained after the post mortem reports, but poisoning of tigers and putting up snares to trap the felines and then kill them has been the past practice of poachers who have been active in these forests. The poachers are then known to sell the tiger skin and organ parts to smugglers.
Meanwhile the forest authorities asserted that following the find of the two carcasses, an alert had been sounded in the forest and its immediate environs. Efforts are being made to locate the injured tiger, if there was a territorial fight and also to find out if any poachers are smugglers had become active to kill the felines, they maintained.
A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand).
Jagdish had worked with India’s leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards
Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.