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Midnapore: The Royal Bengal Tiger, whose presence in the forests of West Midnapore district had triggered a sense of terror among the people, has been tracked down after nearly two months but not alive!

The full-grown Royal Bengal was found dead in the Baghghora forest off Lalgarh in West Midnapore today noon. The carcass bore several fresh injury marks, especially near the right ear and abdomen. A blood-stained lance was found a little.

The discovery came after two Adivasi tribal youths from Lalgarh, who had ventured into the Baghghora forest this morning for hunting, were attacked and left injured by the Royal Bengal.

The youths ~ Bablu Hansda (36) and Badal Hansda (20) ~ were part of a group of 40-odd people who had gone to the forest as part of the annual hunting festival underway for nearly a month. They were first taken to a local hospital and then to the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. They are now admitted there.

Within a few hours of this, around 12 noon, the Adivasi people living in the vicinity of Baghghora forest, informed the forest department officials about having spotted the carcass of the Royal Bengal inside the forest.

A team of foresters rushed in and found the tiger lying dead on dry tree leaves. The carcass had multiple injury marks and a lance was lying nearby, indicating that the tiger has been hunted down. Foresters took away the carcass to the nearby forest range office for post-mortem.

Senior officials of the forest department have said that the reason for the death of the Royal Bengal is not exactly clear at this point in time. A probe will be conducted to ascertain the cause, they said.

Adivasi villagers had alerted the forest official about the tiger in February but initially, it was thought to be a hoax as Lalgarh forests are not known as inhabited by the Royal Bengal. But its presence got confirmed after a trap camera installed in the forest captured a snap of the animal.

This made the forest department to press into service multiple teams and also conduct aerial monitoring using drones so to capture the tiger. This yielded no result and instead two forest department staff got suffocated to death insider a night patrol vehicle on 13 March.

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