Bairakuppa residents demand capture of man-eating tigress

Bairakuppa residents demand capture of man-eating tigress
A tiger eats its prey at the border of Nagerhole forest. The photo was captured by the CCTV cameras installed by the forest department.

Pulppally: Man-animal conflicts are on the rise and a few places in Kerala are notorious for attacks by wild animals on human settlements. The villagers of Bairakuppa, located in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve area on the Kerala– Karnataka border, has demanded the authorities to capture a tigress that was till recently roaming the adjacent forest areas, posing a threat to human life. The presence of the dangerous tigress in this area, near Pulppally in Wayanad district of Kerala, was confirmed by the Forest Department.

The local people stress that capturing the tigress was necessary to ensure safety of the locals. The tigers were posing a menace to humans and cattle in the region recently.

Last week, the forest officials had captured a male tiger that is suspected to have mauled to death two persons from the region recently. The 10-year-old male tiger, which was captured after being shot with tranquilisers, was shifted to the Mysore Zoo. The tiger had been posing a grave threat to the villagers in the Machur–Gundara areas near the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.

Footage from the camera installed in the forest area had proved that it was one tigress that killed Madhu, a tribal youth from Manimoola Tribal Settlement at Bairakuppa in December. It was also confirmed that the male tiger had killed two persons, Chinnappan from Gundur and Kenchan of Machur. Experts had also confirmed that both persons were killed by the same tiger.

Even though the tigress had killed Madhu, no other untoward incident has been reported from the region after that. The forest officials held that the tigress was not to be seen in the area since then.

Experts point out that usually tigers that become weak due to old age or injury set out to capture cattle from villages near the forest area. The tigers usually roam between the isolated colonies located on the edge of the forest.

Clarification from the Forest Department

Meanwhile, the Forest Department clarified that the captured male tiger was shifted to Mysore on an emergency basis as it needed immediate treatment for some wounds found on its limbs and head. The tiger was captured through tranquilizer shots and later shifted to a cage.

The public was suspicious about the motive of the Department personnel owing to the haste with which the tiger was shifted to Mysore without displaying it before the villagers.

The forest officials reasoned that had the tiger died during the capture or later due to any injuries, the concerned officials would be held responsible as tiger was a protected animal. Expert treatment was available only at Mysore Zoo. The officials clarified that there were nothing to hide in the shifting of the tiger to Mysore and gave word that the captured tiger was the same one which killed two people.

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