Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tiger foxes killers, skips bait

Tiger foxes killers, skips bait

17 Jan 2009, 2120 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN

LUCKNOW: Good news for tiger lovers. The young tiger survived the designs of the forest department to hunt it down on Saturday. It managed to stay away from the bait and the bullet. The shooting order, earlier and now, has not harmed the tiger so far. The big cat is riding on luck, but till when. Wish it lasts longer.

The feline had killed a calf at Deoganj village in Kumarganj tehsil on Friday night in Faizabad. It was at the same spot that the foresters had set-up a `machaan' and tied a live bait to trap the tiger. But, the night-long camping at the spot did not yield result -- which in this case was the elimination of the `man-eater' tiger.

The staff present at the spot shared that the tiger did not return to the kill as was expected by the team. It did make some movement in the night as revealed by the fresh pugmarks found in the vicinity, but the big cat cleverly by-passed the route to `machaan' and bait.

All the efforts made so far to trap it in the enclosure have failed. It has never returned to its kill. The young tiger is a maverick in its own right as it has never emulated the confirmed tiger behaviour.

The two-and-a-half-year old feline had entered Rampurjanak village of Faizabad on December 28 and since then it has been moving within the forest along village clusters. The forest staff claims that it has successfully confined the tiger within 10 to 12 kms of the patch. But, what baffles the trackers is the unpredictable movement of the big cat.

At the start, it moved 6 kms to the left of Rampurjanak but then returned back only to change its course to the right of the village. On Saturday, the fresh pugmarks of the tiger were found at Bihara jungle. But, the animal was not spotted by any of the trackers.

Effort can still be made to push it towards Katarniaghat forest, which could be some 300 kms away, and thereby spare the animal from falling prey to bullets. But, is anyone in the forest department listening?

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