Madurai

Villagers panic after claims of tiger sighting

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Residents of Peesarpattinam village, abutting the Vaigai near Manamadurai in Sivaganga, remained indoors on Monday after a Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) board employee claimed that he sighted a tiger coming out of the forest area.

The TWAD board employee, Kalyani, said he visited the river bed at Peesarpattinam to switch on the electric motors to draw water from the board wells around 8.30 a.m. when he sighted a tiger emerging through the karuvelam trees and wild grass forest. He also pointed out the animal to a local villager. After they raised an alarm, the animal went back into the forest.

On being alerted, a police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Manamadurai, Karthikeyan, launched a search operation along with locals after alerting the forest personnel.

A team of forest personnel led by Assistant Conservator of Forest D. Rameswaran, District Forest Officer S. Manivannan and Forest Range Officer A. Mathivanan joined the police and continued the search operation. After completing a one-and-a-half hour search, they said the claim was false.

Stating that there was absolutely no possibility of the presence of tiger or panther in the area, the forest officials said some pug marks were seen but they did not even remotely match with that of the two animals. The TWAD board employee could have sighted a dog, probably a large breed.

Tigers would target goats for prey and panthers the dogs but there were no reports of death of either goats or dogs in the area, they said.

Foresters and watchers, however, were posted to monitor the situation in the area.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:58:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/villagers-panic-after-claims-of-tiger-sighting/article29881218.ece

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