VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: The postmortem of the found dead in Lunawada taluka of has ruled out poaching as a reason for its death. Officials are, however, not ruling out the possibility of a snakebite as having killed the lone tiger in , whose presence was confirmed only around a fortnight ago.

According to the forest department, the carcass was found near Kantar village in Lunawada taluka by the forest staff on Tuesday evening. An autopsy was conducted by a panel of doctors in the presence of officials and representatives of various organisations on Wednesday morning according to NTCA guidelines.

Apart from forest department staff and veterinary officers from Mahisagar, Dr Pratyush Patankar, a representative of the (NTCA); GEER Foundation veterinary doctor Dr Aniket Patel; and Prateek Lakdawala, a representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India were present during the post mortem. The chief conservator of forests, Vadodara, S K Srivastava, said that during the examination no physical injury was noticed on the carcass. “All 18 nails, four canines, genitals, and skin were found intact. After the PM, we have concluded that the incident is not a case of poaching.”

Srivastava further said, “The possibility of it being given a poisoned kill by locals is not likely, as there was no discontent among people of the state about the tiger killing livestock. The possibility of snakebite cannot be ruled out.”

The reasons for its death could not be ascertained immediately, as there were no injury marks. Viscera samples have been collected and will be sent to the directorate of forensic sciences in Gandhinagar, the Anand Veterinary Hospital and the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCones), in Hyderabad. The carcass was burnt according to NTCA protocol in the presence of the panel.

Sources said that the carcass was badly decomposed. “Only histopathology and toxicology reports can now ascertain what led to its death,” said an expert present at the site.

Forest officials said they are also looking into the possibility that a neelgai or a kill was poisoned by farmers in the area.

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