In what could be a huge setback to the tiger conservation effort in Uttar Pradesh, three tigers have died in the past three days in the jungles of the Tarai region.
Wildlife and forest officials are alarmed at the sudden and inexplicable rise in such incidents. Today, the body of a tiger was recovered from the Kishanganj Sanctuary of the Dudhwa National Park in the Lakhimpur Kheri district. Officials suspect that the tiger could have been poisoned by a gang of poachers.
In the past three days, two more tigers have been found dead in the forests of the neighbouring district of Pilibhit. The first tiger was found dead on the May 24 in the Haripur range of the district. The body of the second tiger was spotted barely 24 hours later, just 300 meters from the stream where the body of the first tiger was recovered.
Since the bodies were found more than 18 hours after the death of the tigers, the vets say that autopsies have not been able to confirm whether the cats were poisoned to death.
The District Forest Officer of Pilibhit P K Singh has raised concerns about how a gang of poachers could be behind these killings. So far, four dairy owners have been detained in Pilibhit. Officials suspect that they could have planted poisoned baits in the forests to eliminate the tigers, who they see as a threat to their cattle that graze around the periphery of the forest.
Original Story: NDTV