At a time when the All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) is underway, the carcass of a tiger was found at Bairluty in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve’s Atmakur division in Andhra Pradesh. The forest staff found the carcass of the tiger in the core area of the forest while patrolling on Tuesday evening, May 10.
Speaking to TNM, Atmakur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Alenchan Teran said, “The carcass was in a decomposed state. Immediately the higher officials were informed and a post mortem was carried out. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was informed about the death of the tiger and the laid down procedures were followed. The postmortem revealed that a fight between the tiger and another animal could have caused the death.”
The DFO also mentioned that the same tiger was photographed during the estimation carried out by the state forest department last year. Though the tiger estimation is carried out at the national-level only once in four years, every year the state forest department sets up camera traps to capture videos and images of animals as part of their survey and analysis. While this is reportedly the third death of a tiger in the reserve in the last six months, the DFO said that the death is not considered as unnatural, as it is a normal thing that is observed in nature. However, the forest officer pointed out that with habitats decreasing, territorial fights that can turn fatal are increasing.
The Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve located in the Nallamalla hills is spread over 5927 square kilometres. The reserve is spread over undivided Kurnool, Guntur and Prakasam districts in Andhra Pradesh and Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts in Telangana. The number of tigers in 2018-19 was estimated to be around 47. In the following year it increased to 63. In 2020-2021 it number roughly increased to 65. As the All India Tiger Estimation is underway, officials believe the number is further going to increase.