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A tigress was killed and hacked into pieces in her enclosure by poachers at Itanagar zoo, its in-charge Zoram Dopum said today.
The poachers broke in and killed the six-year-old tigress between 8 pm to 10 pm last night taking advantage of the absence of the three guards on duty, he said.
The guards had gone for their dinner and found the hacked tigress carcass in the enclosure.
However, why they went missing at the very time that poachers used
The poachers cut the tigress into pieces but could not take them away as the guards had returned, Dopum said adding the animal was among the six big cats in the zoo.
The postmortem was done today and an FIR was lodged at Itanagar police station.
Investigation was on to nab the culprits, he said adding the forest department was also initiating a separate departmental inquiry into the matter.
Itanagar Zoo, 8 km from the town and established in 1987, is spread over 250 hectares and its display area is approximately 41 hectares.
Along with six big cats, the zoo also housed nearly 200 animal species.
On February 21, 2006, three tigers and a leopard were poisoned inside the zoo by miscreants. One tiger had died, while the other two along with the leopard had survived, zoo authorities said.