Another tiger on rampage in Uttar Pradesh

December 26th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 26 (IANS) Even as a man-eater tiger continued to elude forest officials in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district, the marauding activities of another tiger in Bahraich district have been keeping the forest authorities on tenterhooks in the last 24 hours.”The tiger is an adult and has triggered panic in various villages in Bahraich, some 270 km from Lucknow,” divisional forest officer (DFO), Bahraich, R.K. Singh told IANS on telephone Friday.

In the last 24 hours, the tiger, who has strayed out of the Katarniyaghat forest reserve in the district, has attacked several heads of cattle in the villages here, killing six of them.

“We have yet not received any report about the tiger attacking villagers,” Singh added.

According to forest officials, the tiger was last sighted in Mohanpurwa village in Bahraich Thursday evening. Before that, it was seen in Nayapind and Khairagarh villages of the district.

“As the tiger is full-grown, it can attack any villager any time. Therefore, for the safety of the villagers, we have already deployed a team of forest officials in the three villages where the tiger has been sighted,” said Singh.

Katarniyaghat forest reserve is home to over 58 tigers, officials said.

Meanwhile, the man-eating tiger, which is on the prowl in Barabanki district for the past one month, continues to elude the forest officials.

“Presently, the tiger has taken cover in thick bushes in the district’s Meerapur village, some 50 km from Lucknow,” DFO Barabanki A.P. Tripathi told IANS on phone.

The animal, which is not yet an adult, was last sighted in Meerapur village Thursday evening, he added.

The tiger, which had strayed outside the forests of Pilibhit, was declared a “man-eater” Tuesday after it attacked and devoured Khushi Ram, 14, of Serai-Bilari village in Barabanki district, about 40 km from the state capital. Villagers discovered the half-eaten body hours later.

“This tiger has been behaving in a weird manner ever since it strayed out of the woods and has been causing panic among the people of Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Barabanki and Lucknow districts where it has been on the prowl,” the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden B.K. Patnaik had told reporters.

The state forest department had wanted to shoot the tiger, but the National Tiger Conservation Authority in New Delhi has objected to the idea and wants it tranquilised and captured alive instead.

“It had first made a futile attempt at attacking a man in Pilibhit and now that it has killed and eaten a human being, there is enough reason to declare it a man-eater,” he said.

Officials believe that the tiger strayed from its habitat in Pilibhit a month ago, and crossed Lakhimpur and Shahjahanpur forest ranges before reaching Barabanki.

Earlier, the government sought an explanation from the forest authorities for the delay in capturing the animal.

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