Three days after Yaas, Sunderbans loses a tiger | Kolkata News


Kolkata: An operation that lasted for about 12 hours to rescue and revive an aged tiger in the Indian Sunderbans by the staff of a protection camp, which is still under water, went in vain after the big cat died on Sunday morning on its way to Sajnekhali, where it was being brought for treatment.
The staff of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve’s Harikhali camp, parts of which are still inundated and around which the tiger was first seen on Saturday evening, turned all their attention to rescue and revive the big cat.
“They were initially jittery to approach the tiger, that was sitting on the banks of the sweet water pond near the camp. But considering its condition, they braved the adverse situation and approached it on Saturday evening. They offered it chicken and water, but it didn’t have the food,” said chief wildlife warden VK Yadav.
It is suspected that the condition of the 11-year-old male tiger, that was already weak, had probably turned worse after it got stuck in tide water on the day of cyclone Yaas and on subsequent days when high tide made the situation worse, with the storm water taking time to recede.
On Sunday morning, it looked feeble. “It was unable to move. Our staff reached the spot and provided it saline, water and tried to revive it. But it died around 10am,” said Yadav, adding that it was being brought to Sajnekhali forest camp for further treatment, but it died on its way. Later, at the Sajnekhali camp, a post mortem on the carcass was conducted.
Deputy field director of the tiger reserve, Jones Justin said that the post mortem revealed that it was a natural death. “All its body parts were intact. But it was very weak and the autopsy suggested that it wasn’t able to eat anything for the last few days,” he added. Yadav said despite facing the adverse situation, the way the staff of Harikhali camp tried to revive it was commendable.
“The staff faced the cyclone only three days ago, but they didn’t compromise on their duty and did their best in these tough times,” said Joydip Kundu of Society for Heritage and Ecological Researches (SHER). Biswajit Roy Chowdhury of city-based NGO NEWS also praised the efforts, saying that the forest staff are the real wildlife warriors.
This is the second reported official tiger death in the Sunderbans this year. Earlier in February, the carcass of an adult tigress was found floating in a narrow creek.
The Indian Sunderbans is now home to about 96 tigers.

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