Stray tiger continues to elude Uttar Pradesh officials

February 5th, 2009 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 5 (IANS) A young tiger, who strayed out of his home in the woods of Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit region three months ago and killed a villager, continues to elude wildlife officials.Even tranquilising experts from the Kanha National park in Madhya Pradesh failed to trap the feline.

For the umpteenth time Wednesday, the two-and-a-half-year-old tiger managed to hoodwink the officials and even take away the bait that was meant to trap him in a forest in Faizabad district, about 140 km from here.

The big cat has been on the move in and around small forest patches in different districts, including Shahjahanpur, Bahraich, Sultanpur, Faizabad and even parts of Lucknow.

“This tiger has been playing very smart all along. This time it killed and took away the goat tied close to a camouflaged cage even before the assigned shooters could take their positions,” said an official of the state wildlife department.

“But we are not giving up and I am sure we will be able to overpower the animal shortly,” he added.

Efforts are also underway to push the tiger to its natural habitat, which is about 100 km away with plenty of human habitation along the route.

Even wildlife enthusiasts, who have travelled to the tiger’s current hideout, were of the view that the terrain was difficult and sighting in the tiger in the almost impregnable forest was not easy.

“The bushes and undergrowth are so thick that you could miss the animal even from a close distance of 15 feet,” Girish Chandra Misra, former director of the Dudhwa National Park, told IANS.

Wildlife buff Kaushlendra Singh, a former member of the Uttaranchal State Wildlife Board, is glad that his public interest litigation (PIL) to prevent the killing of the tiger had borne fruit.

“The high court’s intervention has led the forest minister to issue a firm diktat to the state wildlife department to nab the animal alive,” said Singh.

The state wildlife department had earlier declared the tiger a “man-eater” after he killed a villager and issued shoot at sight orders.

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