Forest officials botch up operation, tigress dies

Forest officials botch up operation, tigress dies

In a botched-up operation, a tigress died in the Nagarhole Reserve past midnight on Monday due to a suspected overdose of tranquilliser.

The operation was carried out by the forest department in the night in violation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines. The guidelines state that animals should not be tranquillised at night and they should not be darted either on the spine, neck or shoulder.

Two tigers have died earlier due to overdose. Also, this is the third big cat the state has lost in the last two weeks.

The forest staff said a tigress was spotted with a cattle kill around 1.30 pm outside the reserve. The forest ranger alerted his higher-ups. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests B J Hosmath directed the staff to capture and relocate the tigress to the core area. Nearly 50 forest department personnel were pressed into operation.

The first tranquilliser dart was shot around 5.30 pm. Wildlife Veterinarian Dr Umashankar, who was heading the operation, told DH that his assistant Kadasubaya shot the dart, but the big cat managed to escape.

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