In Rajasthan’s Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) as a full-term pregnant tigress, known as MT-4, died during treatment for severe constipation. The nine-year-old tigress was the only female big cat in the reserve and was expected to deliver three cubs in the next few days.
According to officials, the tigress was leading a healthy life and was seen chasing a herd of animals on April 27. However, on April 29, she was first spotted suffering from a possible colic pain. A team of veterinarians monitored the tigress throughout the day on April 30 and found that she was suffering from severe constipation in the colic and intestine.
The tigress was given an enema, and fecaliths were evacuated twice. On Wednesday, a team of veterinarians, including experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India, sedated the big cat to insert the rectum and anus into its place. However, the tigress suddenly stopped breathing and died around 1.15 pm on Thursday.
A post-mortem examination revealed that the tigress was full-term pregnant with three cubs. Wildlife enthusiasts raised questions over alleged infectious tigers from Ranthambore having been shifted to MHTR, terming the sudden death of MT-4 as a significant setback to MHTR and tourism in Hadouti.
The incident has also raised concerns about possible genetic infections in tigers at Ranthambore. Veterinary doctors had previously pointed out this possibility at the time of the death of tigers in MHTR in 2020. Wildlife enthusiasts are demanding an investigation into the matter. “It is not the loss of one tigress, but four tigers in MHTR,” said Tejendra Riyad, a member of the team of veterinarians that conducted the autopsy on Thursday evening.