The Forest department has intensified the combing operations to trap the suspected man-eater tiger on the 13th day on Thursday, October 7 in Masinagudi and Gudalur areas in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. The operations to trap the tiger, coded T23, started after it killed four people, two in the gap of 14 days, and several cattle in Gudalur, Masinagudi and Singara regions. To capture the wild cat, officials from neighbouring states such as Kerala and Karnataka have also joined hands with Tamil Nadu forest officials.
To assist the teams, two kumki elephants and three sniffer dogs were also requisitioned, with a modern drone to trace the location and movement of the tiger. Sixty forest officials divided into five teams, five doctors, 25 camera traps (mobile camera), one net gun, one pepper gun, and seven tranquiliser guns have been put in place to capture the elusive tiger in the thick forest cover between Masinagudi and Theppakadu in Tamil Nadu.
As there was no trace of the tiger for the last four days, the strategy now was to camp on tall trees, based on the earlier movement recorded in the cameras, with a medical team sitting so that they can tranquilise immediately. The four special teams are working to tranquilise the animal, with the help of veterinarians and medical teams. Similarly, to attract the tiger, cows were tied so that veterinarians can use the dart to tranquilise it, Forest department sources said.
The department has also appealed to the people not to venture out, particularly in the operational area, which would prevent the tiger from coming out from its hideout.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on October 5 ordered the Tamil Nadu forest officials to capture the tiger alive and not kill it as it might not be a man-eater. The bench also noted that it is important that the tiger is caught alive considering the poor tiger population in India.
The Chief Wildlife Warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj assured the court that measures are being taken to capture the tiger and not to kill it.