BHOPAL, India, May 22 (UPI) -- A female tiger found dead in an Indian sanctuary may have been struck by a jeep used to carry tourists, wildlife officials said.
The death occurred Wednesday in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Press Trust of India reported. The tiger had three cubs.
A necropsy was performed Thursday. A.B. Shrivastava, a veterinarian with the National Tiger Conservation Authority, said he at first believed the dead tigress was the victim of a territorial fight with another tiger but veterinarians found severe internal injuries and signs of blunt force trauma.
"It died of a liver rupture following which blood rushed to her abdomen after being hit by some blunt object," Shrivastava said.
India has the largest remaining population of wild tigers, estimated at about 1,400. Most of them live in protected reserves where development is banned.