Hungry tiger strikes again
13 Dec 2008, 0323 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: After a five-day long hiatus, the hungry tiger struck again putting an end to his game of hide-and-seek with the forest officials and residents of Barabanki. He attacked a calf in a village called Gusmanda about eight kms away from Dewa Sharif. The wayward big cat has not only turned towards Lucknow but has almost reached the outer fringe of the city.
His current location has been traced to Tiwaripur village of Barabanki range. The pugmarks found near the village show that he is almost midway on the route between Barabanki and Lucknow. According to AP Tripathi, divisional forest officer (DFO) Barabanki, the animal has traversed a distance of 11 kms, from Barabanki towards Lucknow. "And now it might be hardly 10 to 12 kms away from the city,'' he said.
The combing operations in the area continued till late on Friday but pugmarks could not be traced beyond Tiwaripur. The efforts to locate the animal will be resumed on Saturday.
Going by the fact that the animal is moving 10 to 15 kms almost every night, he could only be a night's duration away from the city of nawabs. After a gap of five days -- when his pugmarks were noticed in Saili Kiratpur village of Barabanki division about 60 kms from Lucknow on Monday -- it was on Thursday night that the animal re-appeared in the vicinity of Dewa Sharif.
Initially, the animal was spotted by two cyclists at a village about six kms from Dewa Sharif on Thursday evening. The two informed the forest staff who started combing operations in the area but soon they got to know about the calf, which was attacked by the tiger in another village some five kms ahead of the earlier one. However, the forest staff who visited the spot denied that the calf was killed by the tiger.
All this builds up to the fact that the animal has not made a single kill in the last five days. To the question will it kill again, the only answer is to wait and watch as is being done by the forest team camping in the area.
With his entry into Lucknow, the animal has completed a month's time of prowling beyond his territory. It was on November 11 that the tiger had ventured out of Pilibhit forest. He has crossed Shahjahanpur, Sitapur, Barabanki and reached Lucknow. The forest team, however, is expecting the tiger to change his position by another 10 kms by Saturday morning.