13 tiger deaths in Karnataka since January 2017, reason for 7 unknown

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A highly decomposed body of a male tiger was found at the Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary on Friday. This is the 13th tiger death that Karnataka has recorded in less than five months this year. The trend is truly worrying.

13 tiger deaths in Karnataka since January 2017, reason for 7 unknown

Personnel of the Karnataka forest department who were on regular patrol found the decomposed carcass of a male tiger on Friday in Hebbe Range of Sangameshwara division.

The cause of the death is yet to be ascertained but officials maintained that the tiger must have died at least three days ago. Samples have been sent for examination, officials said. Tiger mortality has been steadily rising in Karnataka, a state that takes pride in having the largest tiger population.

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Acute shortage of food and water in blazing summers is a cause of worry for environmentalists. Tigers are venturing out of their territory looking for water and food and sometimes this is leading to man-animal conflicts as well as animal-animal conflict. This is the first tiger death reported from Bhadra Sanctuary this year.

This year alone, Karnataka has lost 13 tigers. Seven tiger deaths were reported in January alone with two caused due to tranquiliser overdose. In February Karnataka forest department recorded two tiger deaths, one in March and two in April. Out of the 13 incidents, eight tiger deaths were reported from Nagarhole while Bandipur saw three tiger deaths. In April one tiger died in Shettyhalli forest range. Incidentally, while the cause of death has been fighting with another animal, snare and territorial fights in some cases, the reason for the death of tigers in at least seven cases are still unknown.

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