Bhopal: As many as 58 tigers have died in the past five years due to poaching, territorial fights and old age in various big cat habitats in Madhya Pradesh.
Of the total deaths reported, nine were due to poaching and 49 were because of other reasons.
The maximum number of 18 tigers had died in 2009, followed by 13 last year, 12 in 2010, nine in 2011 and six between January and May this year, according to data of forest department given in response to an RTI application filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.
Of these, three cases of poaching were reported in 2009 and 2012 each, and one each in 2010, 2011 and in February, 2013, it said.
Five of these tigers have died due to electrocution and three others by poisoning. One tigress had died after sustaining injuries due to trap laid by poachers, the reply said.
The death of the other 49 tigers was due to cannibalism, territorial fights, accident, diseases like Pneumonia and old age among others, it said.
Six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh -- Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench - have about 257 big cats.
Tiger population in the country was estimated to be 1,706 as per 2010 data.