Bandipur tiger captured, villagers heave a sigh of relief

The tiger which was trapped and tranquilised in the Kundakere range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve on Tuesday.

The tiger which was trapped and tranquilised in the Kundakere range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A tiger which had killed more than 20 head of cattle outside the Kundakere range of Bandipur national park was captured on Tuesday, bringing a sense of relief to the local community terrified by its presence in the area.

The 4-year-old male tiger was on the prowl in the villages on the fringes of the forests since one month and had strayed repeatedly into human landscape in search of prey and was prone to kill cattle.

This had created insecurity among the local community who feared for their lives and hence the Forest Department launched an operation to capture the tiger on Monday.

It is suspected that the tiger was trying to establish a territory for itself but in the process it had ventured outside the forest boundary and had acclimatised itself in the buffer area adjoining villages. It repeatedly preyed on domestic cattle, escalating tension in the surrounding villages.

Though the authorities had laid traps by way of bait and installed cages hoping that it could be captured without a combing operation, the tiger proved elusive for nearly two to three weeks.

Hence a decision was taken to launch a combing operation in a 1,000-hectare area where the tiger’s pug marks were found. Camera trap images from the area also indicated that the same tiger was operating in a radius of a few km of Kundakere.

Though the tiger was sighted on Monday evening it could not be darted as it was getting dark. Fresh pug marks were discovered on Tuesday and the field staff followed it and traced the tiger to an agricultural field over run by weeds and tranquilised it around 11.15 a.m. and shifted it to a cage by noon. A decision on its relocation deep into the forests or shifting it to the wild animal rescue centre will be taken by the authorities.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 12:55:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bandipur-tiger-captured-villagers-heave-a-sigh-of-relief/article31623441.ece

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