The deaths of tiger since January in the Pench Tiger Reserve has raised many questions. Following which now the Madhya Pradesh forest department has decided to take the blood and oropharyngeal swab samples of tigers in the Pench Tiger Reserve, Seoni, amid mysterious tiger deaths.
The forest department officials said that this is the first time that tiger samples will be tested for coronavirus. The samples will be sent for COVID-19 tests. The decision was taken as the forensic science laboratory was unable to find the exact cause of the tiger deaths. Reports informed that Three tigers died in the reserve since January.
As per the latest count, the reserve has 53 tigers. Pench Tiger Reserve Field Director informed that to a leading newspaper that “For the past 20 days, six forest department officials on two elephants are trying to locate tigers in the forest to tranquillise them and take samples. They are yet to find any as it is a difficult task–the rainy season has started”.
The decision was taken by the authorities after three tigers aged between 5 and 8 years died at the reserve since the month of January. The autopsy and FSL reports of the carcasses ruled out poaching as the experts were unable to find poison, electrocution or injury marks, the newspaper reported.
The administration of the reserve then went to the head office of the forest department, seeking permission to take samples of five tigers randomly. The samples will be tested for coronavirus and other viral.