Bareilly Forest department personnel recovered a tiger cub carcass, which was floating in Hardoi feeder canal in Puranpur area of Pilibhit. Villagers of Puranpur spotted the body on Monday. They informed forest officials, who fished out the body, which was sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly for a post-mortem examination.
Forest officials, however, ruled out poaching. “We did not see any injury marks. All the organs were also found intact. Prima facie, it appears the cub was four years old. Whether the death was due to drowning or something else, we will only know once the post-mortem report comes in,” said Navin Khandelwal, deputy director of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).
Forest officials said the carcass appeared to be two or three days old. They were non-committal when asked how the animal had strayed into the canal or whether the cub had ventured out from the nearby reserve forest. “We cannot say anything for sure now. We will have to match the picture of the tiger with our database and only then we will be able to confirm whether it (tiger) came from PTR,” said officials.
This, however, is not the first time that carcasses of big cats have been recovered in the region. In 2019, three carcasses of big cats were recovered from canals or rivers in the Terai region. In September last year, the carcass of an adult tigress was fished out from Sharda canal near Navinagar village of Banda block in Shahjahanpur district. Another decomposed carcass of a big cat was found floating in river Devha at Deuni dam in Pilibhit’s Amaria block in August. Similarly, the carcass of a leopard was found floating in Sharda canal in Shardanagar area of Lakhimpur Kheri district in July last year.