Cannibalism in MP: New threat to Tigers, as Tiger eats Tigress

Bhopal: In one of the worst and rarest cases reported so far, an adult tiger was hunted and eaten by none other than another adult tiger in Kanha National Park of Madhya Pradesh.

Similar incidents are being reported from other reserves from MP where cannibalism is prevailing among MP tigers, said sources.

On Saturday evening, partial remains including a skull and paws of tiger were found when forest officials were patrolling on elephants at Mundidaar beat. The Viscera has been sent for further analysis.

“One which got killed seems to be a tigress and the one who killed is a tiger. We are trying to match the stripes,” said Kanha’s field director L Krishnamurthy.

According to the officer, there can be no other reason than territorial fight in this case when the area has a good prey base.

The forest officials and experts from WWF and WTI who surveyed the area where the carcass was recovered had given a preliminary report.

Expert says adult tigers fighting and eating each other is quite rare when quite a few instances where cubs are eaten by adult tigers are sometimes reported.

“Though history has instances of cannibalism in tigers, it is rare,” said an officer.

Eating is never meant to satiate the hunger but is an extension of the fight.

While some Experts suggested that increased tiger population in the tiger reserves is now posing as a threat to their own kind raising conflicts in the reserves.

According to one official, almost all tiger reserves in the region have already exceeded their carrying capacity. “This shows that the forest department has made good conservation efforts. But, now we must think about extending more protection to the tiger corridors and territorial divisions”, he said.

In the year 1995, Madhya Pradesh state was declared a ‘Tiger State’ as it was home to nearly 20% of India’s tiger population and nearly 10% of the world’s tiger population but now tiger death toll and hunting by its own kind have changed the scenario.