'Man-killer' tiger to be tranquilised
Lucknow |Saturday, 2010 6:35:05 PM IST
A male tiger, which is believed to be responsible for eight human killings in Uttar Pradesh since May, has been formally declared "man-killer" and will be tranquilised soon, an official said Saturday.
Taking into account the pattern of the six human killings in the Deoria forest range in Pilibhit district, some 250 km from Lucknow, and the adjoining Khutar forest range in Shahjahanpur district, some 150 km from here, forest officials believe the same tiger is behind all the eight incidents.
Declaring the sub-adult tiger as a "man-killer', the state forest department has issued formal orders for tranquilising it, officials said.
Emphasizing that the tiger has been declared "man-killer" and not "man-eater", officials said this was so because all the killings took place in forests and that the wild cat did not kill anyone as a survival strategy outside its habitat.
At present the tiger is in Khutar range of Shahjahanpur forest division, where it recently killed two youths. While Gopal Singh, 30, was killed late Thursday, another youth Pratap Singh was killed Monday, officials said.
"We have received orders from the principal chief conservator of the forest for tranquilising and trapping the tiger," Shahjahanpur's Divisional Forest Officer P.P. Singh told IANS over telephone.
"In order to trap the feline at the earliest, we have sought help from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). A team of forest officials along with experts of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has been formed to trap the tiger. Elephants would also be used for patrolling the affected area," he added.
However, it is still to be established scientifically that the same tiger has killed the eight people in Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit, officials said.
A DNA analysis of the feline's hair collected from the sites in Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur will be used to ascertain the facts, officials said.
"There's a strong possibility that the tiger that had claimed six lives in the jungles of Pilibhit lost its way and reached the forests in Shahjahanpur," Pilibhit Divisional Forest Officer V.K. Singh told IANS.
"The Khutar forest range of Shahjahanpur and the Deoria forest range are in continuation. In both the ranges, the presence of tiger is not normally reported," he said.
"But it could be possible that the tiger moved into the Pilibhit jungles and then to the adjoining forest area in Shahjahanpur," he added.
Forest officials in both Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit districts have issued an advisory to villagers not to venture out alone late in the evening.
Cameras have also been installed in the Khutar range to spot the tiger.
( 438 Words)
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