Did the Cow really kill the Tiger?

By ganesh / June, 4, 2012 / 38 comments

I had just returned to the Anamalai Hills from Bangalore. The next morning a phone call shocked me. The voice said: a tiger is sitting close to a house and a large number of people are gathered to watch it.

I did not believe it at first. A tiger in Valparai? Near a cardamom plantation? I have heard of rare sightings in and around Valparai but this was something I could not believe. Must be a leopard and they must be mistaken, I thought.

The tiger was sitting in the far end corner of a garden. I was amazed to see a tiger sitting in a place so close to human habitation.


It seemed exhausted and the crowd and noise was clearly not helping.


 It seemed to be in a lot of discomfort and bleeding from the right nostril.


As time passed by the crowd swelled and the Forest Department with the help of the police were trying to keep the curious onlookers at a distance.


The wait was finally over when the doctor arrived. It had been a 10 hour journey for him. He fixed the dart and loaded up the tranquilizer.


The rain had picked up and the crowd was swelling by the minute. The dart with tranquiliser was fired. The tiger, exhausted and helpless, nevertheless, pulled the dart out. Later, the tranquilizer took effect and the tiger slowly went down.


The Forest Department staff approached it very cautiously and nudged it with a stick to make sure the tiger was knocked out. They quickly hurled the net over it.

The tiger was carried on a stretcher and loaded onto the truck stationed close by. The crowd cheered and there was a sigh of relief on the faces of both people and the Forest Department staff who had spent the entire day watching the tiger in the pouring rain.


The doctor decided to take the tiger away from the crowd to examine and chose to keep the tiger under observation overnight.




The next morning came the news that the tiger did not make it and had breathed its last early in the morning. A post-mortem was scheduled and the NTCA asked Anand to attend as an observer and submit an individual report.

The body was inspected for injuries and observations made. The tiger was old. It’s canines and paws were worn out. The doctor suspected it to have fallen into a pit and struggled to get out. The body was cut open and its organs examined.


What took everyone by shock was the discovery of two porcupine quills pierced into its heart!




The post-mortem concluded with the doctor diagnosing multiple organ failure and the puncture wounds inflicted by the porcupine quills as the reason for the death of the old tiger. A funeral pyre was set up.


It was time for rituals when Bhuto brought in some milk, turmeric and salt.


Here was an animal finally at rest after all the years of roaming in the forest, striking terror in the heart of its prey.


I am glad he lived a full life in the wild, but  for the one agonizing day when he met the humans.


(Shaktivel, Murali, Solomon, Bhuto, Muniyandi and others) Tamil Nadu Forest Department did a great job in attending to the tiger on both the days.

It was disappointing to read in the papers that a cow was responsible for its death. People just say anything to attract readers these days.

You can read a nice article by P.Jegannathan on the same here.


38 Responses to Did the Cow really kill the Tiger?

  • Ramalakshmi

    Excellent Ganesh….Great job done by the entire team and the postmortem pictures are really ringing tears whole heartedly. Thought the animal is seems so strong and powerful, when it comes to an end and suffering, it is really so sad.
    Great work..rama

  • bhargav

    Hey Ganesh,
    Good one man.

  • Anjali

    Nice writeup,Ganesh..

  • Ashwini V Mohan

    The Tiger had lived it’s life, that’s the good part. Don’t be disappointed about what others say about the Tiger’s death, you have done your job :) It is always good to know the truth from people like you.

    • ganesh

      Yeah Ashwini but looking at it in a larger perspective, Many people believe what the media reports and frame an opinion based on what they read. Imagine the results of irresponsible journalism.

      • Ashwini V Mohan

        Its an irony but yes, most of the people believe the version which is portrayed in news channels! Lets hope the upcoming journalists don’t do this!

  • mukesh burman

    well wright ganesh ji,i had seen two,three time in bandhavgarh tiger story same..thanks for searing..

  • Adhikari

    Ganesh, awesome work, sad for the tiger…. and surprised about its sighting in Valparai, thanks to you for wonderful conservation work….

  • Vishal

    You’ve done a great job…
    Keep up the good work bro.!!!

  • Farooque Khan

    Thanks a lot for sharing this info

    R.I.P TIGER.

  • Preeti

    Well done Ganesh!

  • govind

    nice you did rituals to it which is appreciating thing which shows respect to animals and how much you care for it

  • Kulbhushan

    Important to document these things

  • Nilesh

    That. . .was really grate job GAnesh. . . . thanxxx for sharing information with us. . .

  • prithvi

    hey great job man .. nd nice clicks too.. its so sad , the media can manipulate anything any way they want , and we read it thinking its the truth..

  • Sesha Simha M V

    Fantastic write up. Very crisp. Awesome photographs.

  • Rajesh

    Awesome pics Ganesh !! picture says it all.. I am happy that alteast this is not a result of poaching !

  • Jayes

    well presented and truthful, nice work Ganesh

  • Romario Prasanth


  • Mathew

    Good fotos

  • Suchitra

    A truly moving photo story…..even the mighty have their moments! Great rare pics and poignantly expressed Ganesh. Brought tears.

    Great work, silently by our Forest and Police depts.

  • A V Suresh

    Hi Ganesh …I came to know about this incidence from Anish some time back. Today I am amazed to view/learn the details.I am happy for you wish you great success in this career.

  • arundhati

    Anyone who is so bothered about any species other than humans is my friend. Keep it up Ganesh. Regards & Best Wishes.I’m a teacher from Kolkata.

  • Sandeep John V

    Hi Ganesh… Good story telling with an eye capturing title and pics. Very glad to read ur blog.

    One of ur photography student

  • Meg'o meg

    I came across this blog through Kalyan varma.. and i enjoyed reading all your conservation work and involvement.. Kudos to you guys!!
    thoroughly moved!

  • Siva

    Very well written ganesh…keep it up….it’s really nice to write on s’thing which you really like and enjoy…all the best and wish you an amazing career ahead….cheers

  • Vinay Ele

    Really superb writing n clicks…u r doing an amazing work…good luck..

  • Adarsh M K

    Hey ganesh,
    You surely deserve a pat on your back for tracking the story completely till its final journey… It is indeed sad to see the king die, but at least pacified that its natural cause.. But u’ve done great work,be in clicks/xplanation, wonderful ganesh..

  • naveen

    Very interesting article!!!I suppose this is the first time i’ve come across a follow through on rescue operation with this detailing.Appreciate you for your efforts and thanks for sharing it with us.Great photographic documentation.

  • Manikandan

    I am an admirer of tigers. Even though the death of tiger was a sad incident, one thing should be noted that the tiger lived its own life in the wild and died naturally. Big cats death due to porcupine quill while hunting, old age area all nature. I am happy to see tigers in Valparai admist tea estates and coffee estates.

  • Deepa

    What a poignant story! Great work with the documentation. As a journalist, I think its really important to present the right facts.
    Good luck with the conservation work!

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