Jorhat, Feb. 26: The carcass of a full-grown Royal Bengal tigress, suspected to have been poisoned, was found in Orang National Park today.
This is the third tiger carcass to have been found in the park this month. The carcass of a male tiger was found on February 9 and the second was found two days later.
Orang divisional forest officer Sushil K. Daila said the partially decomposed carcass of the tigress was found inside a dense foliage near Panchnoi forest inside the park. “The tigress probably died about 10 days back and poisoning cannot be ruled out. We have sent the viscera for forensic examination,” he said, adding that the reports of the viscera of the two carcasses found earlier had not arrived yet.
The carcass was spotted by a forest team patrolling the area on elephants around 11am after they smelt a foul odour, Daila said. It is speculated that villagers residing near the park’s periphery might have tried to poison the big cats in retaliation against the increasing attacks on cattle.
The park has witnessed similar incidents earlier.
There has been a rise in tiger-human conflict with the big cats frequently straying out of the park and attacking cattle in nearby villages. Daila said this was because of an increase in tiger population at Orang. “Only today, our men spotted a full grown tiger near the Panchnoi area,” he added.
In January this year, a tiger had strayed out of the park’s Bhabapur area and attacked two persons in Rongagora village. It also killed a mahout and injured several forest personnel who had gone to chase it back to the park.
A couple of years ago, the park authorities had signed an MoU with WWF-India for paying an ex gratia of Rs 2,500 to owners for cattle killed inside or on the periphery of the park as a goodwill gesture.