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Tigress dies of infection caused by its radio-collar in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: A tigress died of infection caused by its radio-collar at Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh. The feline, T4, known for a path-breaking successful experiment involving breeding of a trans-located tigress, was raised in captivity.

This was apparently the first casualty involving a radio-collar. Till date there was no scientific evidence to prove the collar could cause death, say experts.

Hand-reared after being rescued at the age of three weeks from Kanha Tiger Reserve, the tigress was released in Panna in 2009. While adapting the wild, she had three litters in the last six years.

“It seems that the radio-collar caused infection around her neck. Rigor mortis had set in around the wounds. This is the second incident of collar related infection. In the first case, we had got prior information and timely action was taken to remove the collar, but this time the wound was spotted only during its autopsy,” said state’s chief wildlife warden Narendra Kumar.

PTR staff had received mortality signal (signal from a constant location) from T4 at 6.45 on Thursday. And on Friday it was found dead near Mandla range, said officials. T4’s translocation and breeding at Panna altogether had created a new chapter in tiger conservation history. And now its death will open up a new chapter, say experts.

T4 was reintroduced at Panna reserve where it struggled in the initial months. Another tiger T3 helped her to learn hunting in the wild and her re-wilding process. T4 later delivered two cubs in the mid November 2011.