Man-eater tiger shot dead, finally

Man-eater tiger shot dead, finally

Sharpshooters late on Sunday shot dead the man-eater tiger which had been on the prowl in the forests of Khanapur taluk in the district for the last few days.

Belagavi Superintendent of Police, Ravikanthe Gowda, confirmed the incident.

A massive operation was launched four days ago after the tiger fatally mauled a pregnant woman. A few months ago, the tiger had killed a woman in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Chikkamagaluru district, after which it was released into the forests in Belagavi district.

The spot where the tiger was killed is remote and deep in the forest. Poor mobile phone communication meant the incident could not be confirmed immediately.

‘Operation Tiger’ comprised forest and police officers as well as veterinary doctors, local residents, personnel of the Special Tiger Protection Force, sharpshooters from the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) as well as members of the Soliga tribe from Chamarajanagar district.

The ANF sharpshooters had been camping on a raised platform with a prey thrown down to lure the man-eater.

Earlier in the day, two tigers were spotted in Khanapur taluk but forest officials were unsure which was the one they were pursuing. One feline was spotted by people near Mudgai village where the man-eater had killed the pregnant woman.

The other tiger was spotted near Kabnal village. It became difficult for forest teams to identify which tiger is the man-eater as the radio collar fixed to it had gone defunct.

The government had authorised shooting down the animal which had preyed on a horse too. The operation to recapture it was described as the biggest such exercise after the offensive against the forest brigand, Veerappan, who was killed in October 2004.

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