Bangalore: What we feared has come true. Pathological reports have confirmed that the four-year-old tiger that died in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve two weeks ago (January 13) was a victim of rat poison. According to R Gokul, Director, Nagarhole Tiger Reserve pathological reports have confirmed that zinc phosphide was found in the viscera of the tiger.
"The report has confirmed that zinc phosphide was found in the tissues that were sent for forensic investigation. I am very saddened that the tiger has been poisoned in what could be assumed to be a revenge killing," said Mr Gokul.
When the post mortem was done on January 14, veterinarian Dr Umashankar had believed that there were remains of sambar deer in the tiger's digestive tract, but it has been discovered that the tiger had killed and eaten a goat in the periphery of the reserve.
"It is obvious that rat poison had been poured on the remains of the goat. The tiger must have died instantly," said Mr Gokul.
The tiger had bled through its nose when it was found dead in the Kabini backwaters by wildlife tourists. As there was no injury, forest officials believed that it could have either died of protozoan infection or poisoning.
Now that it is clear that it had been poisoned, forest officials have been put on high alert. As it is, five tigers have been caught in the villages adjoining the park in the last five months.
With the water receding in the Kabini backwaters, authorities fear that more tigers could move towards villages in search of water and food.