Between a 12 months period starting from January last year till January this year, 21 tigers have died in Bandipur and Rajiv Gandhi tiger reserves. The tigers including cubs have mostly died of natural causes, whereas a few have been killed by poachers and another reason for these deaths have been snares laid to catch or kill other animals. 


These deaths are a cause of concern for the wildlife activists, but forest officials do not see this as a matter to worry. According to the forest officials, since the numbers of tigers roaming in these reserves are satisfactory, there is no need to worry or panic, reported the Deccan Chronicle. 


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Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APCCF), Rangaraoy, said that this is a normal mortality rate of tigers and that Bandipur had around 150 and Nagarhole had about 80 tigers. Some deaths have been due to natural cause, and new cubs replace the ones that died, he was quoted by the daily as saying. 


The recent past has seen multiple deaths, including a suspected death of a tiger due to tranquiliser overdose in the Antharasanthe range of the Nagarhole National park that grabbed headlines and the forest department has sought a report on this. 


Also READ: Nagarahole: Activists suspect tiger's death was a planned overdose


In another incident, a poacher killed a tiger in the Maddur range of Bandipur in the month of August last year. The poacher has been arrested, and reportedly he mistook the tiger to be a Sambar and shot at it accidently, the daily quoted the forest official as saying. This is one of the many incidents of poachers killing tigers in the state. 


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The snares laid for wild boar is another death trap for the big cats, and in recent times many have fallen victim to it. 


The frequent incidents and increasing numbers are a matter of concern and forest department needs to address this issue before it is too late.