Six tigers and 86 leopards were killed in Uttarakhand in a space of 14 months since the beginning of 2012 with unnatural factors like illegal poaching and accidents responsible for the deaths of 32 of them, says an official report.
From the beginning of 2012 to February 2013 a total of six tigers died in the hill state out of which two died in mishaps and the remaining four died natural deaths, it said.
The forest areas of the state were also witness to the deaths of 86 leopards during the period out of which three were poached, 27 were lost to accidents and the rest died natural deaths, the report said.
Stepped up and effective patrolling by forest guards in sensitive areas where forest dwelling Gujjar community is in dominance and strengthening the intelligence mechanism are the measures suggested in the report to rein in the number of unnatural death of big cats.
However, noted environmentalist Anil Prakash Joshi blamed the forest department for the situation.
It is due to the lackadaisical approach of the forest department that poachers get away with impunity, he said.