Kheri tiger as tricky as its Barabanki mate
23 Feb 2009, 0200 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN
LUCKNOW: Kheri is running a re-play of Barabanki. Even as the forest team had made a frantic search for the young tiger while it was on the prowl in Barabanki, the big cat had not shown up for days once it was declared a man-eater. Much on the similar lines, even the Kheri tiger has not been sighted since Friday when it was declared a man-eater.
The first day of the tiger search operation in Kheri on Sunday did not yield much. The feline had killed a cattle on Saturday night. And it is the only evidence the search-team has to believe that tiger is still present in the vicinity of Kamp Tanda village.
Since it has been declared a man-eater there are chances that it might be shot down. But, according to foresters, options to trap it are also open. Meanwhile, to prevent any further human killing the forest staff has started constant patrolling in the village.
The team that comprises north Kheri, south Kheri, Dudhwa officials, local conservationists and members of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is monitoring the area during night as well.
PAC too is camping in the area and local police is present all through. "At present, the efforts are focussed on tracking the tiger," said a forest official. Baits and enclosures have been placed strategically. "The tiger is an adult and the way it has killed its prey does not show that it is injured," shared the official.
Kamp Tanda is a village in south Kheri and is almost adjacent to the west of Kishenpur sanctuary. The village has lost four of its inhabitants to the tiger since January 4. The village can be reached only through the sanctuary and that is the reason why the villagers keep moving through it. Besides, it has been raised inside a depression caused by the river Sharda. And, the dense sugarcane fields there have made the operation more difficult.
The forest department began making efforts to catch the big cat after it killed a third human on January 18. The WTI team too joined the operation but failed to track the feline. There was a common belief then that the tiger had retreated to Kishenpur.
But, conservationists who have been part of the operation shared that the big cat was sighted from close but they could not react since they had no equipments to trap it. "We saw it finally after tracking it for three successive days, but before we could react it moved along the Sutia nullah," said Rahul Shukla, former warden, Kishenpur.
Shukla had handled the operation with warden and rangers of Kishenpur between January 15 and 23. The team had no darting guns to tranquillise the tiger since the entire paraphernalia was at Faizabad.