The Images Of A "Drugged" Tiger Crushed By A Digger Elicit A Wave Of International Anger

At the beginning of March, a Bengal tiger died after being crushed by a differ in Jim Corbett National Park in India.The animal, who had recently attacked and killed two laborers who had wandered into his territory, was given sedatives by forest rangers.

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 Source: Jaidev Dhadhal

However, certain agents worried that the already high dose wouldn't be enough to keep the tiger from fleeing. They decided to use the construction equipment to pin him to the ground.

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Source: Ritu Mehrotra

This unfortunate decision quickly turned tragic: the impressive force of the machine compressed the animal's chest cavity. He tried to fight, despite the anethesia, but in vain.This torture, which happened in front of the eyes of several hundred people, was fatal for the tiger, who died a few hours later. One of the park's caretakers, who wished to remain anonymous, toldlocal press:

The animal was probably overdosed. Perhaps they tried to sedate it twice as it did not go down immediately. The tiger also suffered spinal injuries, possibly from the JCB. It is difficult to tell if it died due to overdosing or injuries or both.
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Source: Ritu Mehrotra

The Bengal tiger, which has been India's national animal since 1973, is an endangered species. For this reason, a number of associations expressed their anger when the images spread around the world. Interviewed by theTimes of India, Sarosh Lodhi, a local activist, declared:

This incident has brought humanity to shame. [...] it was shocking to see a mob of 200 people witnessing a national animal being tortured and harassed by Jim Corbett officials. But none of them did anything to save the tiger; instead, they were cheering and witnessing the cruelty.

To try and better understand the incident and to avoid anything like this happening in the future, Debabrata Swain, the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) declared that an investigation would be opened:

We will find out why the Standard Operating Procedure was not followed. There is always pressure in a situation of conflict but we cannot use an earthmover to catch a tiger.

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The tiger, put in a cage shortly before he succumbed to his injuries.Source: Ritu Mehrotra[/caption]Year after year, the tiger population continues to decline. Over the course of 2016, 120 tigers died in India, only 48 from natural causes. Reserves like Jim Corbett National Park offer a protected natural environment for these felines. While there were over 100,000 tigers on the planet just a hundred years ago, there are now less than 4000.

If you would like to support the associations who fight to save them, you can make a donation to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), or to the World Wide Fund (WWF).

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