Chief Wildlife Warden G. Harikumar orders investigation into Wayanad tiger death

Chief Wildlife Warden G. Harikumar has ordered a detailed inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of a tiger in Chedalayath range of forest under the South Wayanad forest Division on October 13.

A three-member committee comprising D. Jaya Prasad, Chief Conservator of Forests, Northern Region; P.S Easa, Member, National Wildlife Board and C.K Vishnudas, Researcher and Wildlife Biologist, National Centre for Biological Sciences, has been constituted for the purpose and the team has been directed to submit a detailed report within a month.

The mandate of the committee is to investigate what situation/circumstances led to the death of the tiger and to come out with suggestions and precautions to be taken in similar situation, in future to avoid such incidents.

The tiger was spotted in the Cheeyambam – 73 tribal settlement at around 6 am. Tribals in the colony had complained that the tiger had killed a goat on Sunday.

This tribal settlement is located on the fringes of the forests under the South Wayanad division and the tiger was tranquilized and captured by the forest department on Tuesday afternoon. Forest officials said that the eight-year-old male tiger had sustained multiple injuries, including a deep injury in its right hind leg which had developed into septicaemia infection, rendering the animal weak.

The wounded male tiger, aged about seven years, succumbed to injuries during a rescue operation at a coffee plantation at Ezhpathimoonnu Kattunayakka tribal colony, Cheeymbam near Pulpally in the district. Though the animal was tranquilized by using darts for treatment , it succumbed to injuries within 30 minutes of the dart hitting it.

An autopsy performed by a team of experts from the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University led by Shyam K. Venugopal, Professor and Head, Department of Surgery ,College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, found that the animal was septicemic owing to a compound fracture on its right hind leg. Multiple injuries were also found on it that was suspected to have occurred during a territorial fight with another big cat.

Ashutosh Pande
Ashutosh Pande is a keen wildlife and nature enthusiast and a regular contributor at Tiger Bulletin.
Ashutosh Pande

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