Image credit: tibchris/Flickr
Two tiger cubs were found dead in the Ranthambhore national park in India this weekend. Though an investigation is still under way, officials reported that early evidence suggests the cubs were poisoned.The reserve—one of several in India helping to contend with the shocking decline in tiger populations earlier in the decade—is located in the north-western province of Rajasthan. Investigators believe that the cubs were poisoned as part of a revenge killing. A goat that the tigers had poached was found nearby.
Chief wildlife warden RN Mehrotra explained:
It appears that the tigers poached a goat. The carcass of the goat was found nearby. It seems to be a case of revenge. Someone took revenge for killing their animal.
Poaching and loss of habitat are the greatest threats to the world's tigers. Still, as numbers increase—there are an estimated 40 tigers in Ranthambhore—the tigers are more likely to come into contact with their human neighbors.
India has been working to prevent such incidents with dedicated conservation officers and a large-scale education program.
Such conservation challenges must be a central part of the discussion among world leaders when they meet this fall to form an international plan to protect tigers.
Read more about tiger conservation:
Tiger Conference Ends with Mixed Results
Conservation Groups Need to be Held Accountable for Tiger Protection
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The Year of the Tiger - Beautiful Animals on the Brink (Slideshow)
Lack of Regulation Leaves Tigers Vulnerable in the United States