Much to the distress of forest officials, two 10-year-old tigers were found dead on Wednesday near a jungle stream at Pollachi in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR). The post mortem of the felines has revealed the cause of death to be the consumption of a poisoned boar.
According to ToI, the carcass of the half-eaten boar was found along with the carcasses of the tiger and forest officials have ruled out poaching as a cause of death.
Debasis Jana, Additional Principal conservator of forests and field director of ATR, told ToI that the wild board could have been the target and that it led to the unfortunate death of the two tigers. An enquiry has been initiated into who poisoned the boar. The two tigers, a male and female, are suspected to be a mating pair.
The carcasses were found in the Pothamadai forest beat and a forest area named Pungan Odai. According to reports, the carcasses of the tigers did not have visible injuries.
ToI reports that save for a tribal hamlet a few kilometres away there was no human habitation near the stream. And while villagers had complained of livestock being lifted, environmentalists believed that tigers were not to blame for it. However, wild boars reportedly proved to be a menace for farmers and they could have chosen to poison the boar.
The loss of the two tigers, however, is a huge blow for ATR which is a comparatively new reserve with a small population of tigers.
The reserve is spread across 958.59 sq.km and has tropical jungle, shola forest and grassland. It spans over the Western Ghats into Kerala between Kodaikanal and Coimbatore. This tiger reserve, according to its website, has only 30 tigers. Other animals include leopards, lion-tailed macaques, peacocks, langurs, spotted deer, elephants and crocodiles.