Karnataka

Cattle-killer tiger finally trapped in Kodagu

The tiger was operating within a radius of 4 km

The tiger was operating within a radius of 4 km  

A tiger that had killed 24 heads of cattle and was on the prowl in the Virajpet territorial division in Kodagu district for many weeks was caught and shifted to Mysuru early on Wednesday much to the relief of the locals.

The capture comes within hours of another tiger being trapped in Bandipur, after it killed about 20 heads of cattle over a month.

The tiger, identified by its stripe pattern as N-186, had the villagers and the Forest Department on tenterhooks as it repeatedly killed cattle only to disappear for some time and re-emerge elsewhere.

It was operating within a radius of 4 km. Nearly 100 camera traps set up in the area helped confirm its identity.

It was captured on a coffee estate in Belluru village in Virajpet taluk late on Tuesday.

Missing tooth

DCF in-charge Konerira Roshni told The Hindu that the tiger was around 7 or 8 years old and was missing a canine tooth.

Video footage indicated that it was using only the side of its jaws to chew. It was therefore unlikely that the tiger would be released into the wild again, she added.

The Forest Department was on the tiger’s trail ever since reports started emerging of cattle being killed in the Virajpet territorial division nearly two months ago.

A combing operation was conducted from March 5 to 17, but the tiger proved to be elusive. Combing commenced again on April 27 and this time the department sought the assistance of Dr. Sanath Krishna Muliya and his team from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, who were studying and radio-collaring elephants in the area.

Experts said combing using elephants had proved to be futile given the terrain, and suggested the foot trap method which proved to be successful, said Ms. Roshni.

This entailed laying traps designed in such a way that it restrains the animal but does not injure it. Six traps were laid after tracking the pugmarks and studying the tiger’s movements, she added.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 2:54:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cattle-killer-tiger-finally-trapped-in-kodagu/article31636884.ece

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