Forest officers on the lookout for tiger

Chandrapur: Taken aback by tiger attacks in the recent past resulting in the killing of two persons and injury to one, forest officials here are contemplating measures to either cage the big cat or to tranquilise it.

Officials said that the tiger was just over two years of age and might have been separated recently from its mother.

G R K Rao, Conservator of Forests, Chandrapur Circle said that his officials were put on alert soon after the first incident of tiger attack last month.

Five teams comprising 8 to 10 members made of forest officials, police and villagers are on the vigil and trying to locate the tiger around five villages near the area of attack. The pug marks suggest that it is a sub?adult tiger and going by the pattern of its attack, it is beyond doubt that it is not an established man-eater, Rao stressed.

He said that priority would be given to either caging the tiger or tranquilising it so that it could be shifted to a safer area.

He said that baits in the form of goats were placed at five different places in the area and one of the baits was devoured by the tiger. Now, the next step would be to place the bait in a cage, as the tiger that is now used to baits is likely to walk into the cage, anytime. But if it does not, the next option is to tranquilise it for which two experts have been already deputed in the area, he added.

Talking about logistics, he said that about 450 villages are located either within the forest area or on the fringes and the presence of villagers makes tranquilising process a tough one as the target often gets disturbed.

The beast needs to be tranquilised during daytime and that too if it is sighted within a range of 25 ? 30 meters offering a clear shot at it, he stressed.

He said the officers have been tracking tiger`s movements and villagers in the area have been asked not to venture into the forests after sunset.