Camera image first authentic visual evidence of the animal

Images obtained from a camera trap have confirmed that the man-eater that killed two women and a man here since last Saturday is a tiger. Forests officials said the tiger appeared to be old, emaciated and injured in one of its legs.

An image was captured late on Friday night by one of the several camera traps set up in the vicinity of Doddabetta by the district administration and the Forest Department, in association with the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature.

This one was located quite close to Kundahchappai, the place where the tiger claimed the third victim, Muthulakshmi (35), on Wednesday.

Chief Wildlife Warden Lakshmi Narayan told The Hindu on Saturday that, efforts to track the animal were paying off. The camera image was the first authentic visual evidence of the tiger on the prowl. Forest Department, Special Task Force and district police personnel entered the forest near Kundahchappai where the tiger was presumed to be hiding. A dog squad formed part of the search team. With light fading the search was called off around 7 pm.

The tourism centre of Dodabetta Peak continues to be off bounds for the public. The hilly terrain with patches of forests made the tracking operation very challenging, he said.