'Killer' tiger trapped, shifted to Bannerghatta Park

'Killer' tiger trapped, shifted to Bannerghatta Park

10-year-old male tiger suspected to have mauled a Soliga tribal, was trapped near Maddur Colony, Gundlupettaluk in Chamarajanagar district in the early hours of Thursday.

The big cat has been shifted to Bannerghatta Biological Park for treatment and rehabilitation.  The tiger had severe injuries on its body, following a territorial fight with another tiger. The overall body condition of the tiger was also weak, making it difficult to hunt. The tiger also suffered damages to its canines, as it tried to bite its way out of the cage.

According to sources, Javaraiah, the victim, was mauled by a tiger inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve, when he had ventured inside the forest to collect bamboo, on December 27.
The family of the deceased was later compensated by the Forest department on ‘humanitarian grounds’.

 Shivakumar C M, Assistant Inspector General, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said that standard protocol has been followed while capturing the tiger, suspected to have mauled a person. Responding to questions on why a cage was kept inside the reserve forest, Shivakumar said that the steps were initiated as “there was a threat that the injured tiger might start preying on domestic animals or even humans”.

Since the tiger was severely injured, officials decided to capture it, he added. He denied that the tiger was captured following severe pressure from public.

 H C Kantharaju, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said that the injuries on the tiger had resulted in maggot formation, threatening its life. Considering this, the tiger was caught following permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the area.

‘Catch-22 situation’

 Commenting on the issue, conservation scientist, Sanjay Gubbi described the episode as a ‘Catch-22’ situation for the Forest department. “It is one of the situations where the department will be blamed for either capturing the tiger or not capturing it. In such a situation, the department has to work pro-actively,” he said, adding that it was necessary to “mitigate the problem of the people”.

In the last few days, Forest officials had set up a cage, bait and cameras to capture the carnivore. In five instances, the tiger came close to the cage, but killed the bait and slipped away. This was captured on camera.

As soon as the news of the tiger capture spread, residents of Maddur colony and surrounding villages flocked the venue and demanded that the big cat be killed.

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