A 10-year old Royal Bengal Tiger killed in "accidental firing" in Assam.. Image Source: IANS News

Guwahati, June 18 : A Royal Bengal Tiger has died due to "accidental firing" by forest personnel on Friday in the fringe areas of the world famous Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP & TR) in eastern Assam, officials said.

Director of the KNP & TR, Karmashree P. Sivakumar said that a carcass of the approx 10-year-old male Royal Bengal Tiger was found near Japoripothar, Karuabari area (fringe area KNP & TR) by the forest personnel.

"On enquiry, it is found that the tiger died due to bullet wound suspected to be accidental firing while trying to scare away the tiger from the public area. We are further conducting a detailed inquiry into the incident," Sivakumar told IANS.

"The tiger had killed a buffalo two days back and reappeared on Thursday evening. Forest guards were immediately sent to the area after the local people had informed about the presence of the tiger. On Friday morning, the tiger and the forest guards came very close to each other and the tiger tried to attack them. After finding no other option, the forest guards fired in self-defence," the senior IFS officer said.

Sivakumar said that since the tiger was old, it possibly could not hunt in the forest and strayed out looking for livestock.

This is the third instance in the recent past in which a tiger carcass was recovered from KNP & TR. On June 5, the carcass of a four-year-old male tiger was found at Sidha Kathoni area of the national park.

Forest officials had said that the four-year-old male tiger was killed due to infighting .

Set up in 1908, the KNP & TR, is one of India's seven UNESCO world heritage sites and extends across Assam's Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong districts along the Arunachal Pradesh border.

It is home to more than 2,400 one-horned Indian rhinos, approximately two thirds of the total world population. Besides rhinos, the KNP & TR has 121 tigers, 1,089 elephants and huge numbers of Asiatic buffalo, swamp deer, wild boar, hog deer, porcupine and other endangered animals and snakes.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at sujit.c@ians.in)

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