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Another tiger dies in Nagarahole

The Hindu
Mysuru
17 Jan 2017

Activists allege that they died of tranquiliser overdose.

A tiger, which was darted and tranquilized close to the periphery of Nagarahole National Park between Udbur and Gendethur villages near Kabini backwaters, died early on Tuesday.

This is the second tiger to have died under similar circumstances within a week, after another one that was tranquilized and captured near Nugu backwaters in Bandipur died on the way to Bannerghatta. However, in Nagarahole, the tiger’s death is not being considered natural.

With the tiger having been tranquilized at least four times through Monday evening and night, activists alleged that it was an overdose that led to the death. However, the national park officials said the actual cause will be ascertained only after post-mortem reports are analysed.

The first dose was darted at the tiger around 5 p.m. When this had little effect, another dose was given at 9 p.m., and then at midnight. It was then given a smaller dose, and shifted to a cage where it was given a revival shot. It died a few hours later.

Nagarahole National Park Director Manikanthan told The Hindu that it was a female tiger aged about 8 to 9. Its claws were injured and a canine missing. Besides, it had not eaten anything as evident in the post-mortem and hence was weak, he said.

The tiger was sighted in the banana plantation of Shivarame Gowda close to Gendethur village in the Anatharsanthe range and the authorities decided to tranquilize it as there were concerns that it would stray into human habitation. Sources said there were reports of cattle kill in the area and this forced authorities to dart it. Viscera samples from the carcass have been collected and sent to the laboratory.

But sources said it was definitely not a natural death nor was there any trace of poisoning and the tiger had bled through its nose and mouth while its tongue was sticking out.
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Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) B.J. Hosmath said: “Procedures were followed as the tiger had to be captured, and the best doctors who have helped capture numerous wild animals were deployed. There could be a remote possibility that it was due to the tranquilizers. If it is so, then it is unfortunate.”