Lucknow: Have Dudhwa tigers shunned their preferred prey - the cheetals and sambhars - to hunt the mighty rhinos? The killing of a 35-yearold female rhino by a tiger in Dudhwa national park and the subsequent eating of the carcass has raised a doubt if the behaviour of Dudhwa tigers is changing.
The experts are not ready to buy the argument that the declining prey base is the reason why tigers are hunting and eating rhinos. "If tiger population in the park is increasing, prey base can not decline," said Tito Joseph from the wildlife protection society of India (WPSI). The tiger sneaked into the rhino rehabilitation area to kill the 35-year-old female rhino Pavitri, brought to Dudhwa in 1984 under the rhino rehabilitation programme.