Three, including juvenile, arrested for allegedly killing tiger by poisoning in Telangana’s Kagaznagar forest

Forest officials found that three persons, including a juvenile, had poisoned a cattle with the intention to kill the tiger.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 13, 2024 | 1:03 PMUpdatedJan 13, 2024 | 1:03 PM

Forest officials with the tiger carcass

Three people, including a juvenile, have been arrested following the death of a male tiger on 8 January in the Kagaznagar forest in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district of Telangana due to suspected poisoning.

Forest officials found that three persons, including the juvenile, had poisoned cattle carcass with the intention to kill the tiger.

It was the second tiger death in three days, and sent forest officials into a tizzy.

The Forest officials were directed to conduct an investigation into the cause of death of the male tiger in the Daregaon beat of Kagaznagar Range in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden Telangana said in a release.

“During the investigation, it was found that three persons, including one juvenile male, had poisoned a cattle with the intention to kill the tiger. Evidence in this regard has also been collected,” the release said.

Also Read: Tigress found dead in Kagaznagar forest in Asifabad

Motive behind the killing

Speaking to South First, Venu Babu, Forest Divisional Officer (FRO), Kagaznagar Divison, said, “The two major accused are K Gangu (24) and A Jalapati (22), who are both farmers. They were allegedly assisted by an 11-year-old in poisoning the tiger.”

Speaking about the motive, the officer said, “Every day Gangu and Jalapati move in the Kagaznagar forest range and release their cattle for grazing. They wanted revenge from the tiger who they believed in the past had killed one of their cattle. That is why they poisoned cattle in order to kill the male tiger.”

“With this, they also wanted to put an end to further killings of their cattle by the male tiger. The minor is not directly involved and just assisted them that day,” the forest officer added.

He added that the samples of the cattle and tiger have been sent to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Hyderabad. “The accused have also confessed that they wanted to kill the tiger,” he said.

Accordingly, they were arrested and produced in court on Friday, 12 January. While the juvenile was released on parental bond, the two accused were sent to 12 days judicial custody.

Screening of the area

The search and screening of the forest area surrounding the place of the tiger’s death continued for the third day, the Chief Wildlife Warden Telangana press release said.

Keeping the death of two tigers in the Kagaznagar forest area abutting Maharashtra and the corridor of Kawal Tiger Reserve in view, senior officials of Telangana also discussed the matter with their Maharashtra counterparts.

It was decided to conduct a meeting to discuss various inter-state issues, including securing the tiger habitat and corridors in this tiger landscape, in the third week of January, the release added.

Earlier, on 5 January, Forest Department staff found a carcass of a female tiger in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.

There were marks indicating injuries on the neck and abdomen of the animal and also hair samples in the mouth of the deceased tigress, most probably of another tiger, which have been sent for further investigation.

(With PTI inputs)