Nilgiris, September 25

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fter the toll of dead tigers in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri reached 10 in just over a month, a team of National Tiger Commission Crime Branch visited Ooty to investigate the matter.

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The team of National Tiger Commission Crime Branch included Inpector General Muralikumar, Central Forest Animal Crime Prevention Unit South Zone Director Kripa Shankar, Central Forest Animal Research Center Senior Scientist Ramesh Krishna Murthy and others.

The death of 10 tigers including 6 tiger cubs in the last 35 days in the Nilgiris district has caused great controversy.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have demanded a high-level inquiry into the ongoing deaths of tigers in Mudumalai, a tiger reserve.

The forest department has so far not found the two mother tigresses of the dead tiger cubs.

Since the mother tiger never leaves her cubs more than 200 meters away, an investigation is being conducted with a point of view that the mother tigers may have been hunted.

The team of National Tiger Commission Crime Branch will inquire about the causes of the tiger deaths in Nilgiri district forest area this year.

After the investigation with the authorities, the team will go and investigate the Chinna Coonoor area, where previously four tiger cubs were found dead.

This comes after a tiger cub was found dead in the Sigur forest area in 'Chinna' Coonoor in the Nilgiris on September 19, taking the death toll to four.

After the examination, the Forest veterinarian of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve said that the cub was 'severely dehydrated'.

These four deaths have brought the toll of dead tigers recorded in the district to ten tigers in just over a month.

As per Forest Secretary Supriya Sahu, the cub could not be saved despite the restless effort of the team.

"On 14 November, the Forest department received a message of tiger cub's movement in the Chinnacoonoor area of Nilgiris, immediately a team along with trackers from Mudhumalai tiger reserve rushed, camped in the region and was monitoring. During the monitoring, it was found that there were 4 cubs in the region. In the same area, farmers have seen a female tiger last month" she said

The team was instructed to monitor the cubs as the mother might be in the locality. On 15 and 16, the continuous monitoring of the cubs was done," she added saying that a tiger cub was found dead on the very next day, September 17.

Following the cub's death on September 17, four special teams were constituted with members from the Mudhumalai tiger reserve and Gudalur Forest division.

The search was intensified for the other cubs and the mother.

On September 18, the search team found a fresh sambar killed in the perambulation area, camera traps were installed for monitoring, she said.

"On Tuesday, one tiger cub was rescued by the team, while 2 other cubs were found dead," Sahu said.

She further said that the post-mortem was conducted as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines.

"The forest veterinarian of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve was treating the tiger cub, but it also died now. The veterinarian said that the cub was severely dehydrated and it was one of the reasons for the death. The intestine of the other three cubs is devoid of any food materials," she said.

TN: Tiger death toll rises to 10, National Tiger Commission visits Ooty to investigate

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