Death of two tigers in quick succession worries conservationistsAn adult male tiger was found dead in Parsa on Sunday, 16 days after another in Bara.
An adult male tiger was found dead at Bagadadob in Paterwa Sugauli Rural Municipality-4, Parsa, on Sunday. Farman Miya, the spokesperson of the Forest Division Office in Parsa, said the big cat might have been dead three or four days ago. “When we discovered it, the carcass had already started decomposing,” Miya said. “Paws of both front legs of the nine feet four inch long tiger were severed off and taken away.”
The place where the tiger was found dead is around 300 metres south from a national forest that borders Parsa National Park. The dead tiger is kept at the subdivision forest office in Basantpur and a team of expert technicians from Chitwan National Park conducted a post-mortem on Sunday, according to Miya. “Sample has been taken to Chitwan for a viscera test which will confirm the cause of the death,” Miya said. “It is suspected that the poachers might have poisoned the tiger.”
The death follows another incident on October 1 when another tiger was found dead at zero mile of Kathmandu-Nijgadh Expressway near Nijgadh, Bara. After conducting a post-mortem, a team of veterinary doctors and technicians ascertained that the 14-year-old tiger had died due to lack of food and water. They surmised that the old tiger did not eat for about 15 to 20 days.
The tiger found dead in Bara sustained injuries in its mouth and other parts of the body. Conservationists suspected that the tiger was quite old and it sustained serious injuries while fighting with other tigers. According to the Parsa National Park, the tiger entered a Nepal Army camp nearby a few hours before its death. The tiger bit and scratched the tyres of vehicles parked in the camp, park officials said.
The death of two tigers in quick succession has had conservationists worried.
“Huge efforts are being made to conserve tigers which are endangered in the world [the species is listed as ‘Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List],” said Ashok Ram, chief conservation officer at the Parsa National Park. “The frequent death of tigers is quite worrisome.”
Ram guessed that the tiger which was found dead on Sunday might have emerged from the national park as the incident site is just seven kilometres from the national park forest. “Both the dead tigers went out of the park forests and reached there through the national forest,” he added.
According to the latest tiger census held in 2021, tiger population in Nepal has reached 355, with the country nearly tripling the number in 12 years. In 2010, there were 121 tigers in Nepal. The number had risen to 198 in 2013 and 235 in 2018.
According to the latest census, Parsa National Park is home to 41 adult tigers. According to Ram, there were only four tigers in the park in 2010. The number rose to seven in 2013 and 18 in 2018, with the population doubling in just four years.
“The number of tigers is increasing with the rise of prey species and thanks to effective conservation programmes,” Ram said. “We are concerned about the recent death of the tigers. We will study about it and take necessary initiatives for tiger conservation.”