Radio-Collared Tigress Found Dead in Gadchiroli, Activists Blame Authorities for Negligence

The number of majestic tigers is declining by the day. Home for over 2,900 tigers, India has lost one more of the big cats. On January 19, 2020, a radio-collared tigress was found dead in Gadchiroli forest, Nagpur, during a routine patrol. Apparently, the GPS tracking signal of the collar had broken down four months ago.

The tigress, which was collared last year at Brahmapuri, was last sighted in December during a ground-tracking exercise. Unfortunately, the decaying carcass of the 3-year-old tigress was found in a dense forest in the Chatgaon range.

SV Ramarao, the Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Chandrapur, revealed:

The carcass seems to be at least two weeks old but we can say that it was a natural death. The skin was intact and no other body part was missing. The carcass was found deep in the forest early in morning and we immediately moved our team members to the spot.

He further added that after getting collared at Brahmapuri, the E4 tigress moved to Wadsa range before making Gadchiroli district its home.

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Ramarao said that the loss of signal from E4’s collar had baffled the forest officials. He also added that this was the first such episode, and the reason for the failure of the technology will be ascertained by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Radio-Collared Tigress Found Dead in Gadchiroli, Activists Blame Authorities for Being Negligent

Representational Image: Tiger News

After the signal was lost, the forest officials arranged for the search of E4 in a traditional manner. The ground-tracking technique was implied and the tigress was last spotted in December during one such exercise.

A team of veterinarians from Chandrapur was unable to find the cause of death. While the role of foul play has been ruled out, the real cause of death can only be determined after the post-mortem.

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Deputy conservator of forest officer (Gadchiroli forest division) Kumar Swami also eliminated the possibility of poaching as all the nails and canines of the tigress were recovered from the scene.

However, this is the sixth radio-collared tiger that has died in Eastern Vidarbha Landscape (EVL) and third in Gadchiroli in the last three years. The death of E4 has stirred a debate on social media by wildlife activists who blame the WII and forest department for lack of monitoring.

Although the radio-collaring an animal is necessary to keep track of its movements and location, it is not much help in saving the animal from dying. While this fact is true, the lack of monitoring and fault in the technology certainly raises a question on how efficiently the forest department and wildlife authorities are doing their job.

Via: Times of India

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