“Injury had made it difficult for the carnivore to eat”

A post-mortem examination conducted on Thursday on the tiger that was shot dead a day before by a team of forest veterinarians revealed that it was suffering from an injury in its jaw.

The post-mortem was conducted at a forest rest house near the Ooty lake. The animal weighed 106 kg and was 260 cm long.

Contrary to what was thought earlier, the tiger was a male and aged about five years. It was last recorded on camera trap at Theppakadu in 2012.

The tiger, said to have killed two women and a man, was shot dead by a team comprising Special Task Force, police and forest personnel in a wooded part of Kappachi village near here on Wednesday night.

Conservator of Forests V.T.Kandasamy told The Hindu that the injury in the jaw had made it difficult for the carnivore to eat. The injury could have been caused by a fight with another tiger, and because of which it started looking for easy prey. Following the failed attempts to tranquilise the tiger and the threat it posed to those who were trying to corner it, it was shot.

The tiger had been creating problems for the past about twenty days in Kundahchappai, Thummanhatty, Kappachi and their surroundings. The fear that there was another tiger in the area was baseless.

Stating that the National Tiger Conservation Authority has been informed, District  Forest Officer, the Nilgiris North B.Sugirtharaj Koilpillai said the operation had cost the department about Rs. five lakh.

He said that it had been confirmed that the animal was the one captured by a camera trap set up near the spot where the third human kill had taken place.

Meanwhile, official sources said that the areas where life had been thrown out of gear by the tiger have started limping back to normalcy.