In a bizarre and shocking incident, a Royal Bengal tigress was shot dead inside the Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden in Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar by a group of unidentified miscreants on Monday night. The group also chopped off the animal’s abdomen and escaped from the highly protected zoo campus lending the Nabam Tuki government into a tizzy after the matter came to light on Tuesday morning.
The Royal Bengal tigress, named Oni, was six-years-old. Oni was one of the zoo’s six big cats. According to reports coming in from Itanagar, the gruesome poaching inside a state-run zoo took place between 8pm and 9pm on Monday and the carcass was detected by the forest guards at around 10pm. According to sources the animal was shot at point blank range raising suspicion on the Arunachal Pradesh Forest department itself.
According to sources, the forests guards on duty were on their dinner break when the killers probably sneaked in and shot the hapless animal.
The state government has initiated a departmental enquiry into the horrific killing. The region, say experts, is in danger of turning into an open poaching ground of endangered animals to feed the demand for trafficking of animal body parts that has a huge market in China that borders Arunachal.