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Bandhavgarh's star tiger dies

Last updated: 23 November, 2011
New Delhi, November 22, PTI: 1:16 IST

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The 14-year-old tiger B2, perhaps one of the most photographed big cats in the world, died at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

The tiger, which was found injured on November 18 in Charwaha area in Ghunguti range, died Monday night, Field Officer of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve C K Patil said. The post mortem suggested a natural death. Tagged as B2, it was one of the star attractions at the tiger reserve for long after another inmate Charger died in 2000.

Initially, while attending to the injured tiger, the officials did not know it was B2.The post mortem report suggested that old age along with injuries sustained by the tiger were the main reasons of the death.

According to Patil, B2 was spotted limping near Chauri village on November 18 by their watchman who was attacked by the big cat and injured when he went to check on him. A day later, B2 was again spotted and on November 20, veterinary experts tranquilised it and found its injuries a bit serious and brought it to Shahdol.

Patil said they decided to bring the big cat to the tiger reserve but on their way Monday night, they found that there was no movement and that he had stopped growling.

“We stopped the vehicle and inspected the animal. B2 was dead,” he said. On how the identity of B2 was established, he said they were helped by the photos taken by Ms Kay Tiwari and Satyendra Tiwari in 1997 as well as his typical facial markings and stripe patterns. “There were injury marks at four places which were 8-10 days old and the tiger’s stomach was empty. The stomach had hairs of wild boar which suggested that the tiger has not eaten anything for the past 8-10 days,” he said.

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