Wildlife sanctuaries serve as a hub for many creatures as well as their permanent residence. Every year, undoubtedly, a large number of wildlife enthusiasts visit sanctuaries. It is difficult to hear such news in this circumstance, when a number of tiger fatalities are occurring. From January 1, 2023 to February 8, India lost 24 tigers in a short span of just over a month. This recorded the most tiger fatalities at the start of a year.
According to the reports, the maximum deaths this year were reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and one each from Assam and Kerala. Rajasthan has recorded three deaths, Madhya Pradesh has maximum deaths which is nine, followed by Maharashtra (six), Karnataka (two), Uttarakhand (two) and one each from Assam and Kerala.
Tigress found dead in Rajasthan's Ranthambore Sanctuary
A six year old tigress and her cub were found dead in Ranthambore Sanctuary situated at Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan. Four tigers have gone missing from the Reserve since 2020.
Carcass of male tiger found at Kaila Devi Sanctuary
A male tiger's carcass was discovered by the Forest Department in the Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary's Masalpur area (KWLS). According to a forest authority, the cause of death can only be determined during the post-mortem. The fatality at KWLS, which is close to the renowned Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR), was a setback for conservation at the envisaged tiger reserve.
What could be the reason behind these deaths?
Since January is the coldest month, many cubs and subadult tigers are susceptible to the weather, according to a Corbett Tiger Reserve official. Moreover, big cats mate during the winter. Due to their intense territorial nature, they frequently engage in fighting among themselves during the mating season, which frequently results in injuries and fatalities.
According to reports, natural reasons including territorial disputes and ageing factors are to blame for deaths. Officials claim they are closely examining the data to make sure poaching links are not overlooked.