Tiger Cubs Found Dead In Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, The Unexplained Deaths Raise Questions

by Mallika Khurana
Tiger Cubs Found Dead In Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, The Unexplained Deaths Raise Questions

Tragedy struck at the Segur forest range within Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) as two-week-old tiger cubs were found dead on a Wednesday. The distressing discovery was made by field-level staff around 3:30 pm. Authorities held out hope that the tigress, presumed to be the mother, might appear, but her presence was absent even by Thursday.

Newborn Tiger Cubs Found Dead In MTR

tiger cubs found dead
Photo Credits: Canva (Rep Image)

In response, a thorough postmortem examination was conducted by veterinarians Priyanka of Masinagudi and Rajesh Kumar of Theppakkadu. Despite their efforts, the postmortem failed to unveil the cause behind the untimely demise of the cubs. Fortunately, poisoning has been ruled out as a potential factor, according to forest department sources.

As per the reports by The New Indian Express, the lifeless cubs exhibited no signs of external injuries. It dispelled the notion that they had been attacked by other carnivores. In a concerning observation, their stomachs were found to be empty. It prompted speculation that the cubs might have been abandoned by their mother. Unfortunately, due to their young age, determining the sex of the cubs remained a challenge. Sources indicated that one cub had passed away a day before the discovery, while the other might have perished five days earlier.

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The Reason Of Death Is Yet To Be Discovered

Madumalai Tiger Reserve
Photo Credits: Canva (Rep Image)

As per The New Indian Express reports, an official explained that no evidence of poisoning was detected. He shared that they will be sending samples from their organs to a laboratory to determine the cause of death. Strangely, neither the skin nor the nails of the cubs were recovered, and in line with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, the carcasses were respectfully incinerated.

Providing insight into the situation, an expert highlighted that various factors could be responsible for the mother’s abandonment of her cubs. It’s possible that she was sick or was driven away by another tiger, compelling her to leave her cubs behind. However, the exact cause of death remains challenging to determine. Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a seven-year-old tigress lost her life after engaging in a confrontation with a tiger. The incident occurred on Thursday within a tea estate in Mudimandhupirivu.

This incident reminds us of the challenges faced in wildlife conservation.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva