Tiger dies in Kerala forest days after killing Idukki native

Tiger dies in Kerala forest, days after killing Idukki native
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Pathanamthitta: An injured tigress that had killed a rubber tapping contractor from Idukki in May, died in a stream in a farmland near Maniyar in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district on Tuesday.

The tigress was spotted lying in the stream on Tuesday evening by P T Raju, who was working on the farmland adjoining the forest falling under the Vadasserikkara range.

The incident comes days after a 15-year-old pregnant elephant died after it consumed a fruit stuffed with firecrackers that burst in its mouth in the Silent Valley forest area in Kerala's Palakkad district.

After the Chittar forest station was informed about the tigress, a team led by range officer Venu Kumar and deputy ranger Rajesh arrived at the spot. They found the tiger very weak and unable to move with laboured breathing. It died at about 9pm.

It had a severe injury on one of the right legs.

The tiger was suffering from some chronic illness, Forest Department said. Samples collected from the tiger will be sent to the centre's lab for testing. The remains of the tiger will be cremated on Wednesday after post-mortem procedures are completed.

The autopsy was conducted by two Forest Department doctors and one doctor from the Wildlife Protection Department.

The primary autopsy report will be submitted to the state and central governments, and the Tiger Conservation Committee in two days time.

The tigress had killed rubber tapping contractor and Idukki native Kanjikuzhi Vineesh Mathew (36) on May 8 at the Plantation Corporation’s site at Medappara in Thannithodu, Pathanamthitta.

It was later spotted near Pezhumpara. A team of forest officials combed the area for days, but they stopped the search after they realised it had gone back to the forest.

Another elephant death

On Monday, a male elephant, seriously injured in a suspected fight with other tuskers, died.

The elephant with injuries and appearing weak was spotted in a plantation at Arthalakunnu near here early last week and treatment was started after being tranquillised.

"There was slight progress in its health... However, our efforts to save its life could not succeed", Mannarkad (South) Divisional Forest Officer Sajikumar said.

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