MP: Cub possibly killed by tiger to attract mother tigress

The half-eaten body of a tiger cub was found in the Rounda beat of Kanha Tiger Reserve in Mandla in Madhya Pradesh, a forest department official said on Tuesday.

It appears the cub, around 14 months old, was killed by a tiger that wanted to mate with its mother, said the official.

"The cub's carcass was found on Monday by a forest team on elephant back. Pug and drag marks and bloods stains of two different tigers were found. The rear part of the cub had been eaten. We spotted a tiger and tigress, identified as T- 22, together some 70 metres away," he said.

The cub's carcass was disposed of as per National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines after autopsy, he said.

In a release, the forest department said, "It appears the male tiger had probably killed the cub to have the company of the tigress."

Tigers are polygamous in nature and mate all through the year, though tigresses go into seclusion for around eight weeks after cubs are born.

During this period of isolation, when the tigress bonds only with its cubs, it is often seen that dominant males in the vicinity try to kill the litter to get the tigress to mate again.

Kanha, spread over 2000 square kilometres, including a 917 square kilometre core area, is world renowned for its evergreen Sal forests and is home to about 300 species of birds, 43 species of mammals, 26 species of reptiles and more than 500 species of insects.