Madhya Pradesh loses 10 tigers this year

However, what is more satisfying for the wildlife lovers is that it is four less than the big cats' total casualties reported last year.

"We have lost 10 tigers including cubs this year so far while last year, 14 big cats' death were reported," Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF), Wildlife, T R Sharma told PTI.

He said that another satisfying aspect in this is that no tiger had been poached in Madhya Pradesh this year so far, while last year, two tigers were killed due to poisoning in Seoni and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, he added.

"This year seven tigers were lost in the wilds of different tiger reserves while three striped animals died of diseases in Van Vihar Animal Rescue Centre where old and sick animals are brought for keeping in protected environment," the APCCF said.
Last year 13 big cats died in the wilds and one at Van Vihar Animal Rescue Centre, Sharma said.

The first tiger death was reported from drowning as the animal was trapped in a pit inside a water body in the Pench Tiger Reserve on January 27, officials said adding that this striped animal was around seven-years-old.

After this, a nine-month old tigress died due to suspected cannibalism in Kanha Tiger Reserve on April 20. Thereafter, a 10-year-old tigress died after being hit by a jeep in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve on May 19. This incident was being probed by the state's CID.

In a separate incident, a one-month old cub died after being attacked by other animal in Kanha Tiger Reserve on June six, officials said.

In Pench Tiger Reserve, nails of around six-month-old cub were recovered from some people on June 20 and during interrogation the accused said that they found the striped animal dead in the protected area.

The four people arrested and sent to jail in this connection during quizzing, told investigators that they were practising black magic with the cub's nails, officials said.
A 10-year-old tiger died in territorial fight in the buffer zone of Kanha on October six and the seven-year-old tiger was lost for the same reason in Pench Tiger Reserve on October 20, officials said.

Two tigresses in June and one tiger in October died due to diseases in Van Vihar Animal Rescue Centre this year so far, he added.

The mortality rate among tigers was very high, and it was around 50 per cent, Sharma said adding that the mortality rate was high among the animal having short gestation period. The tigress gestation period was three and a half months, the APCCF said.
Besides, old age related deaths amount to 20 to 25 per cent in the wild, he added.

"Tiger protection was the top agenda of our department," Sharma said adding "a slew of measures have been taken in this regard."

Tiger protection force has been constituted to protect the big cat, he said adding that night patrolling was being carried out in and around the reserves and forest areas.

The forest ground duty staff have been equipped with wireless and guns and chowkies have been erected to protect big cats, Sharma said.

Ex-servicemen have been recruited and were manning the protected areas in Madhya Pradesh, he added.

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