The Doddabetta Peak will be out of bounds for tourists till the animal is caught.

The district administration and the Department of Forests have stepped up operations to track and trap a carnivore, believed to be a tiger, which reportedly killed two women and a man between Saturday and Wednesday in areas bordering the reserve forests here. But, till 7 p.m. on Thursday, there was no confirmation that the animal was sighted.

Public movement has been severely restricted, with emphasis on not allowing children to come out in the open. As a result, 45 schools at Kundahchappai, Doddabetta, Thuneri, Thummanhatty, Anikorai, Kadanad and nearby places were closed, District Collector P. Sankar said.

People in these areas are spending sleepless nights.

A dozen Special Task Force (STF) personnel from Sathyamangalam, three kumki elephants – John from the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) and Vijay and Wasim, which were part of the ongoing rejuvenation camp at Mettupalayam, and a few trained dogs of the India Project for Animals and Nature (IPAN), have joined the operations to track the carnivore. Seated atop the kumkis, forest veterinarians, who are experts in firing tranquilizer shots, are scanning the jungle for the carnivore. Forest veterinarians from Coimbatore, MTR, Aringnar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur near Chennai and from Karnataka are part of the operations.

The Doddabetta Peak will be out of bounds for tourists till the animal is caught.

The body of 35-year-old Muthulakshmi, who was killed on Wednesday, was sent to her native place in Tirunelveli district and the first instalment of compensation of Rs.25,000 was handed over to her husband.