Tiger caught after cow meal
A STAFF REPORTER
Barasat, March 14: A tiger trapped by villagers in a cattle shed was tranquillised and caught this morning, but not before it had tucked into two cows and made the rest of the herd numb with fear.
Around 8.45 last night, the residents of Shamshernagar, in the Sajnekhali area of the Sunderbans, heard cows in carpenter Swapan Mistri’s shed moo in panic. “I realised that a tiger had raided my house. I raised the alarm and the women of the locality started blowing conch shells as is the custom to alert villagers during an emergency. We could hear the panicked cries of the cows and the growl of the tiger,” said Swapan.
A group of men led by Swapan tiptoed towards the cattle shed with fishing nets. “One of us locked the door from outside and placed the nylon nets over the tiled roof of the shed so the tiger could not flee through the roof,” said Swapan.
Villagers surrounded the shed and waited for a Sunderbans Tiger Reserve team. It came at 11.30pm with two officials armed with tranquilliser guns. “One of them climbed up the roof and removed some of the tiles for a view of the tiger. Then he shot it,” said North 24-Parganas forest officer Rana Dutta.
Around 1.30am, when neither the cows in the shed nor the tiger could be heard any more, the foresters opened the door and found the tiger unconscious.
Pug marks had been seen near the village, 100km from Calcutta, since Tuesday. Three cows had disappeared.
The animal has been kept under observation.