NAGPUR: One of the oldest tigers of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur – Waghdoh- died of old age on Monday. The big cat was 18-years-old. The carcass of the tiger, who fathered 30 cubs, was found in the Sinhala jungle buffer area of TATR when a team of forest personnel were patrolling the zone. Waghdoh was popular among the tourists for his majestic charm.
After spending early days in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Waghdoh (T-13) was driven out of the place by young tigers in 2015. Since then, it has been wandering in the forest near the Tadoba buffer zone. Hunting was restricted for the big cat due to its old age and hence it used to stay near forest villages to easily hunt cattle. It was sighted in the coal mines of Durgapur and forests around Sinhala and Masala villages under the Chandrapur forest range in the last first week of this month.
A shepherd was killed in a tiger attack and his body was found in a nullah flowing through the Western Coalfield area, close to village Sinala, on the outskirts of the city yesterday. The victim was identified as Dashrath Pendor (65) from Sinhala village and was likely to have been killed by an old Wagdoh tiger that was found dead on Monday morning.
A video shot by the tourists, showing the tiger was in such bad shape that it could not even walk properly, had gone viral a couple of days ago. Several wildlife lovers expressed their concern over the deteriorating condition of Waghdoh. “The forest department was keeping an eye on the tiger, considering that it was very old and weak and could be dangerous to humans and cattle in nearby villages,” informs Prakash Lonkar, chief conservator of Chandrapur.
Senior Forest officials, including CCF, Chandrapur, Lonkar, CCF and field director, Tadoba, Jitendra Ramgaonkar, DCF (core), Tadoba, and Nandkishor Kale, the in-charge DFO of Chandrapur forest division rushed to the spot when they received the news about Waghdoh. An autopsy was performed by a team of veterinary doctors in presence of the National Tiger Conservation Authority representative and a representative of PCCF, Maharashtra state. All its limbs and other parts of the body are intact, claimed Lonkar.
The 1,727 sq. km Tadoba tiger reserve, one of the country’s oldest national parks, was also in the news recently for better cat conservation and the birth of over 30 tiger cubs. The reserve includes the Tadoba National Park created in the year 1955. It is also the home to wild dogs, leopards, sloth bears, bison and hyenas, and jungle cats, apart from around 120 tigers.
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