India: Tiger Shot, Hacked into Pieces Inside Zoo

A female tiger was shot inside her enclosure at the Itanagar Zoo in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

A female tiger named “Oni” was found dead in her enclosure at the Itanagar Zoo in Arunachal Pradesh, where intruders managed to shoot her in the head and carve up her body before security guards returned from a dinner break.

A necropsy revealed two bullet wounds from a .22 rifle in Oni’s skull, according to NDTV. Although no arrests were made, three zoo employees have since been fired, and a forest guard suspended, in connection with Monday’s tragedy.

In 2006, three tigers and a leopard were poisoned inside the Itanagar Zoo; all of cats except one tiger survived.

Following the post-mortem, Oni’s body was burned on zoo property in the presence of police and a magistrate, presumably to keep her skin, claws, teeth and organs from entering the illegal trade in tiger parts.

Three years ago, Sheila the tiger was poisoned inside an Indonesian zoo. Sheila’s skin and the body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine were taken by her killers. Two suspects were later arrested, but unfortunately received light sentences.

Image by Rameshng via Wikimedia Commons



Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.

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