India: Had it been alive, the four-year-old tiger which was killed by poachers could have been known as ‘Bahubali 3’. The Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society had suggested to the forest department to name it Bahubali 3. Its movement was last captured in a camera trap on December 15, 2018, in Khanapur division of Kaddam range in Kawal Tiger Reserve.
A joint team of investigators of Ramagundam police and forest officials on Friday found the carcass of the big cat in Shivaram Crocodile Wildlife Sanctuary area, which is 50 km from Mandamarri. Police identified nine poachers and arrested five of them for killing the wild animal, skinning it and trying to dispose it. Officials said the tiger had died of electrocution.
After the tiger skin was seized at Mandamarri on January 24, it had been identified to be that of the tiger that was spotted in Khanapur. Two other big cats, one in Panna Tiger Reserve is known as ‘Bahubali 1’ and other in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve as ‘Bahubali 2,’ officials recalled.
Principal chief conservator of forests PK Jha told TOI that the skin of the tiger seized was the same as that of the one found on camera trap in Khanapur. Imran Siddique, founder of Hyticos, told TOI that they had suggested Bahubali 3 due to its heavy muscle built. The big cat weighed a good 180 kg.
Ramagundam commissioner of police V Satyanarayana, who had gone to Shivaram, told TOI that trackers found the pugmarks of the tiger near Shivaram on January 8. “We searched the house of main accused Dandaveni Sailu in Shivaram and found electric wires and snares used for poaching. We believe the wild cat was electrocuted either on January 10 or 11,” he said. He said the nails were missing. “The skull is missing. The carcass has putrified, while its legs have been separated,” he said.
Apart from Sailu, other accused identified are: Thokala Mallaiah, Thokala Buchirajam of Shivaram, Beechapally Komaraiah of Nagaram, Ilaveni Anjaiah, Ilaveni Sagar of Mandamarri, Mekala Narsaiah of Ramaraopally and Narsingodula Ravinder of Mancherial.
(Source: The Times of India)