Two tigers have died at Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, taking the death toll of big cats in the state to 20 since May last year.
The latest death reports came at a time when a team formed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority is probing the big cat deaths in the state.
"A tiger and a tigress have died in our park," KTR field director J S Chauhan told PTI on Tuesday. The carcass of the 14-year-old tiger was found in Supkar range of the park on April 16. It died of starvation as it was unable to hunt due to advanced age, a common occurrence in the big cat family, he claimed.
The tigress was found dead in Mukki range of KTR on Monday. It died after sustaining injuries to its head in a fight with a tiger, Chauhan said. It appears that the tigress and its cub went for a kill and were attacked by another tiger, he added.
With these two deaths, 20 tigers have died in Madhya Pradesh's forests in the last 12 months. Some of them were killed by poachers. A tigress and its two cubs were poisoned to death in the core area of Pench Tiger Reserve on March 28.
Four poachers were arrested in this case. A two-member team of NTCA visited PTR earlier this month. The team of D Swain, Inspector General of Forest, NTCA, Nagpur and A R Choudhary, Assistant Director of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Jabalpur, is expected to visit other tiger reserves and places where big cat deaths have been reported.
"We are going to submit our report as soon as possible so that corrective measures are taken quickly to prevent tigers' deaths in Madhya Pradesh," Swain told PTI.