A male Royal Bengal Tiger aged around 12 years has died in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park following infighting with another feline, park officials said on Thursday.
The decomposed body of the tiger was found in the Baruntika area of the 430sqkm- park’s Kohora range on Wednesday. The animal is suspected to have died nearly two weeks ago.
“The dead animal was an old male aged around 12 years. Symptoms suggest that it had died due to infighting with another tiger,” P Sivakumar, director of the park, said.
A post mortem examination carried out by experts verified infighting as the cause of death. The carcass, which was found intact, was burnt in the presence of forest officials, wildlife activists and others.
This is the second recorded death of a tiger inside the park this year. In February, the carcass of a tiger, which died of natural causes, was recovered from inside the park.
As per the last count in 2017, Kaziranga, which has the highest number of one-horned rhinos in the world at 2,413, is home to 104 tigers. Infighting among tigers takes place over territory or mating rights.
Between November 2008 and February 2009, ten tigers died in Kaziranga due to causes ranging from old age, infighting, fight with buffaloes and suspected poisoning by villagers.
In December last year, forest officials had arrested seven people and recovered parts of a tiger from their possession. The accused had killed the wild cat, which may have strayed out of the park, in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district.
Since the focus is more on stopping poaching of rhinos, for which the park is known for, the recovery of tiger parts had surprised forest officials and wildlife experts.
Besides Kaziranga, three other national parks in Assam—Orang, Manas and Nameri—are home to Royal Bengal Tigers.