Officials summoned for delay in capturing tiger

December 23rd, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 23 (IANS) Forest department officials who failed to trap a two-year-old tiger in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district have been summoned here to give an explanation, an official said Tuesday.The tiger was last spotted Monday evening in Sarai Bilhari village in Barabanki, some 30 km from the state capital here. Officials believe that the tiger had sneaked out from its habitat in Pilibhit a month ago. The animal crossed Lakhimpur and Shahjahanpur forest ranges before reaching the village.

The government has now sought an explanation from the forest authorities for the delay in capturing the animal, even though a massive hunt has been launched for it.

“It may sound surprising that hundreds of forest officials and employees are unable to catch the tiger,” divisional forest officer (DFO) in Barabanki, A.P. Tripathi told IANS.

“Problems of varied nature are preventing us from catching the tiger. We will apprise the government about all such problems following the directives,” he added.

Forest officials said the tiger’s behaviour is proving to be a major hurdle in catching the animal.

“Unlike adult tigers, this sub-adult tiger remains indifferent after seeing goats that are normally used as bait for entrapment. The tiger has not even once entered the cage. Considering this, the trapping of the animal is becoming near impossible,” said Tripathi.

“Since the tiger is young the animal does not stare at humans as adult tigers do. Such a stare would have given us ample time to tranquilise the animal,” said Tripathi.

The mobility of the tiger is another problem faced by the forest officials in their drive.

“The tiger is highly mobile. Daily it moves nearly seven km from its earlier location. As a result, spotting the animal is also becoming difficult,” said Tripathi.

Officials said the tiger has not yet attacked humans although it killed a few cattle.

As the tiger is not a man-eater, the animal has to be captured alive, officials said.

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