Soligas' skills was handy in tracing ‘man-eater’

Launching a massive manhunt to nab the alleged ‘man-eating’ tiger a few days ago, the forest and veterinarians team returned empty-handed for
the first three consecutive days.

However, the search and rescue team gained confidence when a team of skilled Soliga tribesmen from Biligiri Ranga Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve in Yelandur taluk of Chamarajanagar district joined the search operation.

The soliga tribals - Shivanne Gowda, Halumale Gowda, Halage Gowda and Bedegowda, according to forest department officials, are experts in tracking wild animals especially the tigers based on the pug-marks and scent.

“The same team had successfully tracked a man-eating tiger last year in Nagarahole limits and they were called
in to join the search operations on Thursday,” a forest official said.

The team was successful in spotting the pug-marks inside a private farm near Maguvinahalli on Friday and Saturday. They went around the carcass of the newborn elephant calf devoured by the tiger.

“They have a special skill by virtue of their long stay inside the forest area. By smelling the air and identifying the pug-marks, they trace the tiger accurately,” another department official revealed.

In a hostile terrain infested with lantana bushes, the tribals team successfully identified the fresh pug-marks and guided the veterinarians and forest officials to tranquilise the cat.

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