Jaipur : Rajasthan has ordered a probe into the death of a panther in Sariska tiger reserve last week.
The panther was found dead June 16 in Bhairunghati area of the forest. While the forest department claims the panther died fighting other wild cats, the medical board say gunshots killed the animal.
Doctors, who conducted post-mortem of the panther, did not share the report officially. According to sources, the doctors had found gunshot marks on the panther's body and also a hole in its liver.
"We have asked the district collector to conduct an enquiry into the matter. For us, safety of wild animals is very important," Forest Minister L.N. Dave told IANS here Tuesday.
The minister said that administrative and forest department officials visited the area where the wild cat was found dead.
Reports of poaching of a panther in Sariska has once again raised concerns over safety of wild animals in the reserve that has already lost all of its tigers due to poaching.
R.N. Mehrotra, chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan, said early estimates of the census indicated an increase in the panther population in the sprawling desert state. According to the 2004 wildlife census, there were over 550 panthers in Rajasthan.