Re-investigation into the death of Karnataka’s famous tiger

T-222/Prince: [Photo: Jerry]

The carcass of T-222 or Prince was found earlier this month under mysterious circumstances.

The Karnataka forest department was forced to take the step after conservationists, alleging that the animal had fallen prey to poachers, pointed out several loopholes in the previous investigation and threatened to launch an indefinite protest.

The controversy has erupted at a time when the Karnataka forest department is trying hard to come up with an explanation for a string of tiger deaths. Of the 19 tigers that died in the first 65 days of this year in India, nine were from Karnataka, the highest in the country.

In a memorandum submitted last week to the state’s principal chief conservator of forests K. S. Sugara, prominent wildlife activists pointed out that the Prince’s snout, with canines missing, was found severed at least 200 feet from the spot where the rest of the body was found.

Reacting to the allegations, PCCF Sugara dismissed allegations of foul play and said that the department was “100%” committed to protecting its wildlife. “Despite lack of scientific proof to establish poaching, we have ordered a fresh inquiry by a senior forest officer,” he said.

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