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Experts baffled by mysterious death of tigresses in Corbett Park

Written by: Staff
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Hardwar, March 20 (UNI) The mysterious death of four young tigresses in the Jim Corbett National Park, which is a leading tiger reserve in the country, and in the adjoining Ramnagar forest division during the last three months has baffled officials and wild life experts.

Wild life sources said a young tigress died in the Bijrani range of the park in mid December last year-Two tigresses of about four years of age died in the Dhela range of the park, one on February 26 and the other on March 7 this year. The highly decomposed carcass of a tigress was found in the Ramnagar forest division on March 16 this year.

The field director of the Tiger Reserve, Rajeev Bhartari told UNI that they had requested wild life experts from the Wild Life Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, to investigate the mysterious death of the tigresses.

Mr P Malik of the WII, who along with Mr Parag Nigam, visited the tiger reserve, said the death of the tigresses might have been caused by some disease or poisoning by village folk in retaliation to the loss of life and property caused by the carnivores. ''After getting the report of the test of biological samples, we shall submit our report. Preliminary investigations indicate that it is difficult to arrive at any definite conclusion,'' he said.

On being contacted, the director of the Project Tiger of India, Dr Rajesh Gopal, who is scheduled to visit the park, said it was mating season and during this period the tigers displayed abnormally aggressive behaviour.

He also said the fatal fights among the tigers over mating were common in the forest. ''However, the death of young tigresses in the mating season is really mysterious,'' he added.

Mr Gopal further said the instances of a tiger killing the cubs of an unyielding tigress to bring her to heat for mating had also been observed.

He admitted that he had not so far come across any instance of a tigress being killed by a tiger for resisting to be a partner in mating. ''However, death of a tigress may be caused due to injuries sustained while mating, which is generally very violent and goes on for days together,''he said.

UNI XC SC BST1710

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