The remains of a tiger have been found in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in eastern Maharashtra`s Chandrapur district, a senior forest officer said on Saturday, reported the PTI.
Tigress T-12, popularly known as Maya, had gone missing from the reserve in August, and the report of DNA tests were awaited for ascertaining if these were her remains, he said, as per the PTI.
The remains, scattered in an area of 100-meter radius, were found in the Tadoba beat of the reserve a couple of days ago, said Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, field director of TATR, according to the PTI.
The big cat had apparently died due to natural causes considering the location of the remains and absence of any human activity in the area, he added.
The samples will be sent for DNA analysis to the National Centre for Biological Sciences and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Bangalore to be matched with DNA samples of Maya, he said.
The reports were expected by November 30, he added.
Earlier this month, despite installing over 100 cameras to monitor the activities of Maya, the renowned tigress of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), she has not been spotted in any of the camera traps for two weeks. As a result, the TATR authorities are extending their search for her to the surrounding buffer areas.
On October 13, mid-day had published a news report (Maharashtra: Search on for missing Maya) in which it was stated that how wildlife lovers who have been visiting the TATR have been concerned as Maya, one of the most famous and photographed wild tigresses in the world, hasn’t been spotted for nearly two weeks. Forest department officials and experts believe that she may have delivered cubs in seclusion and more than 100 cameras were set up to track her down.
The tourists who flocked to the sanctuary in Chandrapur district when it was opened to the public after the monsoon season in October were eager to spot Maya. However, Maya remained elusive. Forest department officials had even installed several camera traps in Maya’s territory to track her movement.
The exact date of birth of Maya (T-15) is unknown, but people who have been visiting TATR and photographing her say that she must have been born in 2010–2011. So far, Maya has given birth five times to a total of 15 cubs. However, only a few of them have managed to reach adulthood as they were killed by dominant males who were competing with each other to mate with the tigress.
(with PTI inputs)