Cattle-killer tigress trapped

A tigress, which had attacked three head of cattle in a span of two days and killed one in Hirehalli of H D Kote taluk, was captured by the Forest department on Wednesday.

The big cat was trapped early morning in a cage set up in the village by the Forest department. Earlier, efforts to drive away the animal into the forest by bursting crackers had failed. Also, an operation using elephants to capture it turned out to be unfeasible owing to the harvest season in the village.

R Gokul, Director, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarahole, said the tigress was about eight to 10 years old. “The tigress has lost its left canine tooth, an indication that it is old and unable to hunt in the wild,” he said.

The tigress was shifted to the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysuru.
Executive Director of the Zoo, B P Ravi, said the animal was brought in around 11 am and was under observation. “There are injuries on its hind legs and other parts of the body. The extent of injuries will be assessed by the zoo veterinary doctors tomorrow,” he said.

The feline attacked a cow on Monday and abandoned the prey after locals raised an alarm. Later, it made a futile attempt to attack a pair of oxen. The tigress killed a cow on Tuesday, following which cage was set up.

Villagers protest
As the news of the tigress’ capture spread in Hirehalli, the villagers thronged the venue to catch a glimpse of the animal. However, the Forest department officials refused to oblige, prompting the villagers to stage a protest.

Later, the feline was brought from Metikuppe Forest Range office and the villagers were allowed to see it. It was then shifted to the Mysuru zoo.

Number of tigers swells
With the arrival of the tigress, the number of tigers in the zoo has gone up to 14, seven of which are from the wild. Ravi said that despite a space crunch, the zoo had been rescuing tigers from the wild. The crunch would ease once the Koorgalli Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre became operational, he said.

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