Cassian Baliarsingh

A rare melanistic tiger was found dead in the core area of Similipal sanctuary, informed PCCF Sushil Kumar Popli on Monday. While the exact reason behind the death of the Royal Bengal Tiger was not ascertained immediately, prima facie, it appears that the RBT had died due to suspected infighting, he added.

The Royal Bengal Tiger was aged around 3-3.5 years. A joint task force visited the area to collect evidence and find out the reason behind the RBT’s death.

Speaking to OTV over the phone, the PCCF said, “Representatives of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) have also reached there. As per the protocol of NTCA, the death of a tiger should be reported to the NTCA no matter whether the death is due to natural causes or other causes like poaching. Based on the evidence, we will take action as per the protocol."

“Prima facie, it appears to be the result of infighting between two male tigers. Tigers usually move around and decide their territory. So, we suspect two male tigers fought with each other over their territory and one of them died in the process. Primary inquiry confirms injury marks on the carcass of the tiger.”

“We are waiting for the post-mortem report and necessary action will be taken based on the report,” he added.

When questioned about rumours of any elephant death, he said that he had no knowledge of the death of any elephant and would cross-examine the reports.

“I have no information about any elephant death. Someone might have mistaken the tiger's death for an elephant,” he informed.

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