India's forests have lost at least 110 royal striped cats, including 17 tigresses, in the past six years due to poaching and several other reasons, according to government data.
The figures made available under the RTI Act reflects that the royal predators have been unsafe not only in non-protected area but also inside reserves, given that this year alone 14 cases of tiger mortality, including four tigresses and two cubs, have been reported till November.
Of six cases of poaching, three tigers were killed in the last month itself with one each outside
Kanha and Khatiya buffer range in Madhya Pradesh and another in Dudhwa tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh, according to the data.
Similarly, as many as 30 endangered big cats died in 2007, highest in the past five years, with 16 perishing in reserves while 14 in non-protected areas.
Five big cats died in world famous Corbett Tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh while Bandipur park in Madhya Pradesh lost two tigresses.
During the same period, 14 cases of tiger mortality were reported from outside reserves of which five of the big cats were killed in poaching and three due to poisoning.
A man-eater tiger which had strayed in Chandrapur in Maharashtra's Nagpur region had to be shot dead by the forest department late last year.
“These are official figures and the actual figures may be higher,” Delinda Wright, prominent wildlife expert, noted.
The situation was grim in 2006 too when eight tigresses and two male striped cats died inside the reserves in various tiger-range states.