A sub-adult tiger that went missing from Umred-Karhandala Wildlife Sanctuary last week, has died of electrocution in Kothurna village in Chandrapur district, said a top state forest official on Thursday.
The tiger died after it came in contact with an electric fence, put up by a farmer in the village. The farmer was arrested by the forest department, the official said.
“The deceased tiger, identified as T-10 and named Shriniwas, had gone missing since April 20. The forest department had launched a search operation, in which his radio collar was found in Kothurna village on the same day,” Maharashtra principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Shree Bhagwan, said.
Thereafter, the forest authorities started meticulously scanning the area near which the radio collar was found, he said.
“The forest team today came across tiger droppings in the area. The officials grew suspicious and questioned a farmer, who owns a farm nearby,” the official said. “During the questioning, the farmer Mahadev Irpate admitted that the tiger had died last week after it came in contact with the electric fence he has put around his farm.
He also told the forest officials that when he found the tiger dead, he removed his collar and threw it somewhere and thereafter buried the carcass nearby,” Bhagwan said. Shriniwas was an offspring of tiger Jai, who has also gone missing since last year from Umred-Karhandla wildlife sanctuary, the official said.
The process to exhume the carcass is on and further investigation is being carried out, Bhagwan said. He, however, made it clear that it cannot be called a case of poaching.