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Madhya Pradesh loses two more young tigers; 15 in 9 months

The Times of India
25 Sep 2017

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh lost two more young tigers from its reserves in the last 24 hours, taking toll to 15 since January this year. Thirty tiger deaths were reported died in 2016.While a two-year old tigress was found dead inside a well in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve (BTR), Umeria district on Monday, male cub was found in Pench national park (PNP), Seoni district.

BTR officials said that the big cat was around two years and got drowned in the well near Magdi range. Insiders say officials had left the ell open after village was relocated from that place. "We have no official information about the BTR tigress, but a cub has died in PNP. There are injury marks on its skull and is evident that it was attacked by a dominant male," said R P Singh, chief of state`s wildlife unit.

Madhya Pradesh accounts for the highest number of tiger deaths in the country, and a shocking 29 of them were due to poaching in just three years. This was confirmed by Union minister for environment and forests Dr Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha during the monsoon session. The question was raised by BJP MP from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh Kanwar Singh Tanwar.

Dr Harsh Vardhan had said that between 2014 and July 25, 2017, there were 356 tiger deaths in the country, of which 76 were in Madhya Pradesh, followed by 54 in Karnataka and 53 in Maharashtra. Bengal, land of the Royal Bengal Tiger, accounted for only four deaths — three from natural and other causes and one from poaching, which was established by seizure of skin and bones.

The government provided a chart that showed 88 of the 356 tiger deaths in 20 states were due to poaching — 29 of them in Madhya Pradesh. As many as 112 more cases, including 17 in MP, are being investigated as the cause of death is still not known.