Tiger deaths: probe intensified after conflicting reports

The Forest department has intensified the probe into the death of two tigers at Gopalaswamy Betta under Bandipur tiger reserve three months ago, following conflicting reports from two labs.

The preliminary report issued by a lab in Coimbatore had pointed to poisoning as the cause of death of the tigers. However, the National Centre for Biological Sciences on the GKVK premises in Bengaluru had issued a report that no traces of poison were found in the viscera of the tigers.

When contacted, Bandipur Project Tiger director Ambadi Madhav said the report issued by the forensic lab in Coimbatore was just a preliminary report.

The report had hinted that traces of chemicals were found in the viscera. "We can get a clear picture only after the final report is submitted," he said.

A special team led by the assistant conservator of forests Paramesh, constituted to probe the deaths, has intensified the investigation. Details on whether the Tigers had preyed on any animal and other details were being collected. The residents of surrounding villages had also been questioned, said sources.

The carcasses of the tigers were found in the Hirikere forest area on January 25. The carcass of an elephant was also found at a little distance in a decomposed state.

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