Two tigers were on Tuesday trapped by Forest department personnel from areas close to the Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district, official sources said.

While one tiger was caught from Panchamukhani II forest area, which is situated across from Annpur village across the Garal river, the other walked into a cage in the Pirkhali II forest.

"We had kept the traps with bait for the last few days, but were surprised when the goat kept in the trap at Panchamukhani II was lifted by the tiger without being caught", Atanu Raha, West Bengal's Chief Wildlife Warden said, adding, "the animal appears to be very cunning".

The tiger trapped in Panchamukhani II is believed to have strayed into Annpur village twice during the last fortnight after swimming across the Garal river, Raha said.

The second tiger, which was trapped at Pirkhali II area, is believed to be the one which had entered Bali village by crossing the Bidya river last Thursday and killed a goat, he added.

The tigers of Sundarbans are expert swimmers and often feed on fish, he said, adding both the big cats would be examined for injuries which could be a reason for their frequenting human habitations in search of easy prey.

"We will examine if they have any physical infirmities," the official said.

The tigers would be tranquilised and microchips attached to their bodies before they were released into the forest, the sources said.

Residents of Annpur, Jamespur, Lahiripur and Rajat Jubilee villages have been staying awake and bursting crackers at night to keep the big cats away. The tigers stray into human habitats after swimming across the numerous rivers and rivulets in the region, which is marked by thick mangrove vegetation.

Forest officials believe that the frequent entry of tigers into human habitations, particularly after Cyclone Aila devastated the area in May, could point to a reduction of their prey base.