Autopsy says that T1 died from excessive bleeding, refuting the claim of shooter

NAGPUR: Even as preliminary postmortem report said problem tigress T1 of Pandharkawda died due to excessive internal haemorrhage and cardio-respiratory failure, veterinarians expressed doubt whether there was any attempt to tranquillise the big cat by firing a dart, as was claimed by sharpshooter Asghar Ali Khan. The report, a copy of which is with TOI, was submitted by a committee on November 5 evening.

Dr Prayag HS, a forensic expert from Karnataka, said: "If shooter Asghar claims that the dart was fired by forester Mukbhir Sheikh from 20 metres, which is considered to be a critical distance to dart any animal, it should have penetrated the muscle, but it didn't if the report is to be believed. Hence, there is doubt whether the dart was fired or shown otherwise."

The postmortem report also states that the scapula on the right side was fractured due to gunshot fired from below the left scapula. "This means Asghar's claims that T1 was shot as it charged at the team from close distance are false. The report says it is a flank shot. Had the tigress charged at the team, the bullet should have hit the head or face or throat," said a wildlife crime expert.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum to the chairman of disciplinary committee of Veterinary Council of India, Dr Prayag has demanded issuance of notice to Maharashtra chief wildlife warden for deploying a non-vet to capture the tigress.

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