Successfully capturing the alleged ‘man-eating’ tiger on Sunday, the Karnataka Forest Department was in for a surprise as the captured tiger was a known male tiger which was once identified in Nagarahole a year ago.
According to sources in the forest department, the tiger, in the last one year, had been wandering in search of territory through several forest ranges and ended up in the buffer area of GS Betta Range.
The Bandipur Tiger Reserve officials who verified their database for the authentication of the big cat revealed to DH that it was the same tiger that was
previously camera trapped in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve near Dammanakatte (Kabini) in Antarasante Range.
“This tiger was first photographed in 2018 January-February in Antarasante Range.
Subsequently, the same tiger was spotted by the department in Moolehole Range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve in December 2018.
In February 2019, the tiger had settled on the outskirts of GS Betta Range under Bandipur limits,” T Balachandra, Field Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, explained.
Surprisingly, in about a year’s time, the tiger had walked about 100 km from Nagarahole to Bandipur Reserve in search of its territory.
“The density in both the reserves is so high that a young tiger like this may not have found its territory or had always fought with other males over territory and constantly remained out of the forest.
In GS Betta Range, where it has last settled, the tiger was roaming outside the forest area,” a senior rank officer in GS Betta Range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve explained.