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Tiger kills, eats tigress in rare cannibalism act in MP

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Bhopal, Jan 21: In a worst case of infighting between the big cats, an adult tiger was killed by another in Kanha National Park of Madhya Pradesh. The parts of the carcass scattered in the forest were discovered by a patrol team at Mundidadar.

Tiger kills, eats tigress in rare cannibalism act in MP

Some ground duty officials found a feline's skull and four limbs, one of which was partially eaten, at Mundi-Dadar in the reserve's core area in Mandla district during patrolling on Saturday, said Kanha Tiger Reserve's field director K Krishnamurthy.

"A tiger was noticed in the area, suggesting that it may have killed the big cat, which appears to be female. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the tiger, during a territorial fight, dragged the tigress for about 700 metres," he said.

Asked about the possibility of the tiger seen around the carcass having eaten it, Krishnamurthy said cannibalism was "not uncommon" among tigers. He, however, said scavengers also might have eaten the feline after it was killed.

The official ruled out the possibility of poaching of the striped animal in the reserve's core area. In December 2006, an attempt was made to poach a tiger in Kanha, but it was foiled by tourists.

Survival of the fittest

A male has at least three females in the territory who individually guard their won small territories within that big area basically to rear cubs. In such an arrangement, young and old males are the only ones who are pushed to the fringes of the forest where there is a lesser prey base. In an in-fighting between two adults, it is the stronger one which survives.

Madhya Pradesh has six major reserves for the national animal and is often called as the 'tiger state'. Prominent among them are Bandhavgarh, Pench and Kanha tiger reserves.

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