Andhra Pradesh

Tiger found dead on railway tracks

KURNOOL: A tigress was found dead near the railway tracks at Chalama first tunnel Nandyal forest division of Nallamala in the district late on Thursday. It was initially suspected that the tigress, estimated to be aged around three, was poisoned by poachers, but a post-mortem examination concluded that it was hit by a train, possibly while it was crossing the tracks.

On being informed of the incident on Friday morning, Conservator of Forests P Rama Krishna, Nandyal Divisional Forest Officer Vinith Kumar and other officials visited the scene and oversaw further procedures.Rama Krishna said specialist veterinarians from the Animal Husbandry Department conducted the post-mortem at the scene itself. “As per norms, the carcass was burnt in the presence of officials. This was an adolescent female tiger and it was captured on camera traps while moving around the trap zones earlier,” he explained. The official added that Thursday’s was the second such incident involving tigers in the past three years.

A young tigress was found dead by the railway tracks near Nandyal town on April 16, 2019.According to the 2018 tiger census, the Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) had 46 tigers, and their population has been estimated now to be around 65-70. Wildlife conservation experts felt the population of the big cats was on an uptick here. The Nallamala forest-based 3,727-square kilometer NSTR is the largest tiger reserve in the country. Its core area is spread over about 2,444 square km.

The tiger reserve has been divided into four blocks and seven divisions: Atmakur, Markapur, Nandyal, Giddalur, Rajampet, Proddatur and Kadapa. Currently, tiger census has been taken up through analysing the captured photographs of all 597 (two cameras for every four square km) ultra-modern motion sensor cameras installed in thick forests in the seven divisions.