Even as India struggles to keep its tigers alive,two cubs were found dead, allegedly poisoned by villagers. In a shocking incident, on the outskirts of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve on Sunday, two 17-month-old cubs were found dead. Forest officials said it could have been revenge by the villagers, upset over the killing of their livestock.With the death of the cubs, the worst fears over the growing tiger population and their shrinking habitat leading to their killings have come true.
Officials say that such incidents may happen again, as straying of tigers from the over-populated reserve was expected. The tiger population in Ranthambore reserve has now come down to 39, which has capacity for only 30.“It’s not a case of poaching as the body parts were intact. It appears to be a case of revenge killing,’’ said Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden R N Mehrotra.
Forest officials said they found carcasses of two goats from the place where the dead cubs were found. “Prima facie it appears that the tigers ate the goats that were set as bait and got poisoned. The tigers had vomited,’’ the official said. Officials recovered their carcasses and conducted a post-mortem. The viscera has been sent for forensic test and the bodies have been burnt.
Source: Times of India