The tiger that was captured on Thursday is “in very poor nutritional condition,” say scientists who have identified the animal as “BPT-117” from an analysis of their database.
Wildlife Conservation Society scientists, led by director Ullas Karanth, who traced back 10 years of the big cat’s ecological history from their records, believe that the tiger “was evicted from its range after May 2013, by a more vigorous rival”. The animal was first camera-trapped in the Moleyur Range in March 2004, and later camera-trapped 10 times — in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2013 — over an area of 33 sq km. “BPT-117” is “an old tiger evicted from its territory” and “it is clearly an animal that would not have lasted much longer in the wild, having reached almost the full lifespan of 12 years,” he added. Tigers are generally only known to attack human beings on provocation, and such “deliberate stalking and killing of human beings has been rare in this region, despite there being 150 tigers,” says Dr. Karanth. The last proven case of man-eating from this area was in Nagarahole in 2006, by a 13-year old female who killed livestock, dogs and hunted down two people.
He said that the delay in capturing the tiger, which caused anger among the local people, may undermine public support that is needed for the conservation of tigers.
He said that a sound policy was needed to deal with such situations that may arise again.