Wildlife lovers storm forest dept HQ, demand details about Prince's death

Wildlife lovers storm forest dept HQ, demand details about Prince's death

A group of around 20 wildlife lovers and photographers rushed to the forest department head office in Malleswaram on Saturday, demanding details on the death of 11-year-old wild tiger Prince in Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

According to a forest department official: “They came to the office and demanded a thorough enquiry into the death of the wild tiger. They also accused the department of hiding facts and disposing of the body without informing conservationists. They maintained that Prince’s death was not natural and there was foul play,” the official said.

This group pointed out to the honour which 19-year-old tigress Machli received after her death in Ranthambore. Prince, too, should have been given a similar honour as he had earned the state government and forest department crores of rupees and was a famous subject of photography.

Kishen Singh Sugara, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife), and C Jayaram, APCCF wildlife, were not present to speak to the agitated group and receive the memorandum. Surprised by the sudden entry of a group of people, forest staffers informed the Sadashivanagar police station.

The officials pointed out that there was no need to inform wildlife photographers and said due procedures prescribed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) were followed after the tiger’s death.

“The case is being investigated in detail to identify who chopped off the tiger’s snout after his death and why. There is no poaching involved. Someone has played mischief, which is all the more dangerous. The post-mortem has revealed that the animal died of starvation. There was no meat bomb,” Jayaram said.

He added that he received the memorandum copy from his office later in the day and inputs will be incorporated in the investigation.

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