Tiger kill, with its distinct features, found in the sanctuary
Though direct sightings have not been made, the Forest Department has gathered evidence recently to substantiate claims that the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam district is also tiger territory. As per the evidence, at least three tigers roam the sanctuary.
The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary has an area of 171 square kilometres. It is bordered by the Thenmala and Thiruvananthapuram forest divisions of Kerala and the Thirunelveli forest division of Tamil Nadu. The catchment area of Thenmala Dam, which extends to about 18 kilometres, is also within this sanctuary and provides a major source of water to animals especially during summer.
Wildlife Warden of the sanctuary P.I. Pradeep Kumar told The Hindu that during an inspection inside the sanctuary recently he had noticed a tiger kill at Umayar, close to the confluence of the Umayar and Shendurney rivers. The kill was a young gaur .
Mr. Pradeep said the kill of a tiger could be easily identified because by instinct, tigers remove the rumen before devouring the kill. Leopards do not engage in such etiquette. He said that a good portion of the kill was found to be consumed and there were pugmarks of the same tiger all around.
A little earlier, during a tiger census in the forest areas of the State, pugmarks of two tigers were noticed at Marapalam and Pandimotta in the core area of the sanctuary. Mr. Pradeep Kumar said that very close to these marks, territory markings by tigers through the scratching of trees were also noticed. Tigers leave deep longitudinal markings on the trees. The sanctuary also has a good number of animals that form the prey base for tigers.