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Amidst ‘Project Cheetah’ celebrations, MP loses yet another tiger

A tigress’s body was found in Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Serve in Umaria district on Sunday afternoon, news of which came to light on Monday. The actual cause of death is yet to be ascertained while samples have been sent for forensic investigation.

wildlife Amidst Project Cheetah celebrations MP loses yet another tiger drb
First Published Sep 19, 2022, 6:41 PM IST

(Image: Ravi Pathak/By Special Arrangement)

Days after eight African cheetahs were reintroduced in India under India’s ambitious ‘Project Cheetah’, Madhya Pradesh has lost yet another tiger. This comes in two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the cheetahs in MP’s Kuno National Park in Sheopur district as a move to re-introduce the feline after it went extinct over 70 years ago in 1952.

The body of a tigress, locally known as ‘Spotty’ by the guides and tourists, was found in the Ghoda Demon beat of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, falling between Tala and Magadhi zones. As per a source close to Asianet Newsable, the tigress was found by two forest guards near a roadside in the jungle and that  blood coming out from the tigress’s mouth. They immediately informed the officials of its health condition. Later, when the team of medical experts arrived, the tigress had moved near a nallah, and was found dead there.

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Furthermore, it has no injury marks were reportedly found on the tigress’s body and that it was found intact. As per the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s norms, the tigress's death has been reported as ‘unnatural’ until the exact cause of death is known. However, the forest department has said that the tigress died due to possible age-related illeness.

ALSO READ: India witnesses 25% decrease in tiger mortality, compared to 2021

The official cause of death is yet to be ascertained. Asianet Newsable tried to reach out to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve’s field director and SDO, however, their numbers were switched off at the time of filing the report. Meanwhile, it is being said that after dissection of the body by the medical team, the tigress’s physical condition indicated to be "old, loose, weak and had infection in internal organs". The samples have been sent for forensic investigation, reportedly.

ALSO READ: Cheetahs' arrival in Kuno sees Sheopur property rates skyrocket

The news comes as a shocker for wildlife lovers and enthusiasts, raising concerns over the protection of India’s national animal. The tigress had given numerous sightings with her cubs to tourists last year. Per the locals, its sightings had gone down this year, with claims that it moved out of the core area but not near the human settlement. Another tired in MP's Balaghat district was also found dead on Monday.

As per NTCA’s tiger mortality data 2022, a total of 82 tigers have been found dead till August 24. Of these, at least 26 tiger deaths have been reported alone in the ‘Tiger Capital of India’, MP.

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