A male Royal Bengal tiger, which had strayed from the core forest area, died on Sunday while being taken to the Sajnekhali camp of Sunderbans for treatment, a senior Forest department official said. The Forest department said the cause of death of the tiger did not appear to be cyclone Yaas and its aftermath but old age while adding that a post-mortem of the carcass would confirm the real reason.
The big cat, aged about 11-12 years, was found wobbling around Harikhali camp the day before and the forest staff kept a close watch on it, Chief Wildlife Warden V K Yadav told PTI. As the tiger was later found lying on the banks of a pond, the staff tried to feed it chicken on Sunday morning but it refused the food.
The tiger appeared to be very weak even to have water as forest personnel struggled to pour water into its throat and was later being taken to the Sajnekhali forest camp for treatment when it died on way, Yadav said. “The death is unfortunate but it appears the tiger died due to old age and weakness. It was dehydrated but the cyclone or the consequent flooding of the forest is not the cause," Yadav said, adding the post-mortem would reveal the exact reason.
The last tiger census of Sunderbans (2019-20) put the number of Royal Bengal Tiger population in Sunderbans to 96.