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Adult big cat dead in reserve
- Officer hints at natural death

Forest department officials took away the carcass of an adult tigress aged between 13 and 14 years for autopsy early on Wednesday morning from Hathinala, around 120km north of Bettiah.

The carcass was recovered near the border outpost of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve’s Done area. The SSB personnel had spotted the carcass late on Tuesday night during patrolling and informed the forest department officials. A tiger can live up to 20-22 years.

This was the second such case at the tiger reserve in the past 36 days or so.

Once the SSB personnel informed the forest department officials, the carcass was removed early on Wednesday morning. It was taken to the Naurangiya Done guesthouse where the autopsy was performed in the presence of a doctor from Patna zoo.

Director of the tiger reserve, also the conservator of forests, Santosh Tewari said: “The tigress was aged around 13-14 years. Except one of her nails, nothing was found missing from the body. It is possible that the nail was removed after death. It does not seem to be a pre-meditated act.”

Sources, however, claimed five nails on one of the paws were missing.

Quoting the divisional forest officer (division 1), Tewari told The Telegraph that nothing major, apart from a missing nail, was found during the post-mortem examination.

Chief wildlife warden Bashir Ahmad Khan said: “Prima facie, the cause of death seems natural. There are no injuries on the body. But anything specific can be said only after an analysis of the post-mortem report.”

Earlier on March 10, the carcass of a Royal Bengal Tiger was recovered from compartment No. 7 of the Madanpur range in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve. It was found dead on the banks of the Sikatia rivulet. Sources said the tiger, aged around 17-18 years, was spotted during routine patrolling.

According to sources, there are around 22 Royal Bengal Tigers at the reserve.

Bank loot

Three criminals struck the State Bank of India’s Motipur branch on Wednesday afternoon and fled with Rs 15 lakh meant for automated teller machines (ATMs).

The three had arrived at the bank, around 30km west of Muzaffarpur, posing as customers. A bag with Rs 15 lakh was kept on the desk of cashier Shivchandra Jha, who was at another table. One of the three thieves snatched the bag and fled with his accomplices while Jha raised an alarm.

He lodged an FIR with Motipur police station against unidentified criminals. The police have launched a combing operation in nearby villages.

Jha said: “The amount was meant for ATMs in the Motipur sub-urban areas.”


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