Apr 16, 2014
The mutilated body of a seven-year-old tiger was found at Bailpadav range near the border of the West Terai forest region in Ramnagar. Many of its body parts had been removed with sharp-edged weapons. The forest department suspects it to be the handiwork of villagers. This is second such killing in the last three months, the sixth in 3 years. The mouth of tiger has been badly incised. A post-mortem examination revealed that the animal’s windpipe and food pipe were removed, as also parts from the stomach. Bones were broken, and skin had been neatly torn off the back of its body. Many of the tiger’s whiskers were pulled out. These are used in witchcraft practices by villagers.
The animal’s carcass was found stuck in a trap fixed on the spot. “Poachers do not seem to be behind this killing, as they would have taken the entire carcass. It appears that the villagers may have extracted body parts to sell them to the traders who are connected to Chinese markets via the Nepal route,” Divisional Forest Officer Rahul Kumar told TOI. “I have directed my staff to gather information about any cattle going missing in nearby villages. That will give us tangible clues about the suspects. Usually, people poison and trap tigers when the latter kill their cattle. Besides, intelligence teams have been deputed to track down the culprits. Three teams, comprising foresters, forest guards and a sub-divisional-officer have been constituted to intensify patrolling,” Kumar said. On April 18 last year, the carcass of a tiger was found in the same condition in the same range. The department has failed to nab the culprits in that case, and there are questions now about whether investigators will be able to get to the bottom of the killing of the tiger found on Tuesday. The Bailpadav range comes under the Jim Corbett landscape area, and has a healthy population of tigers. Uttarakhand has 227 tigers in the wild, with the largest tiger population in the country after Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
As posted in Timesofindia.com