Fugitive tiger returns to Rajasthan

Sunday, October 17, 2010

AGRA - A male tiger which attacked dozens of villagers in Uttar Pradesh after straying from Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park has returned to its home state and is reportedly taking shelter near a bird sanctuary, a forest official said Sunday.

It was a nightmare for the wildlife trackers in Mathura and Agra after the figer, now named Mohan, stepped out of its natural habitat in Sawai Madhopur district about two months ago and entered Uttar Pradesh. The big cat was also spotted in the Chambal region of Morena district in Madhya Pradesh.

Bharatpur Forest department officials in Rajasthan said they had seen footprints of the tiger on the fringes of the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

Divisional forest officer and chief of the bird sanctuary Anoop K.R. told IANS over the phone that pugmarks were noticed in Ram Nagar and Malah areas.

“Cameras have been installed on trees to take pictures of its movements,” he said.

The forest official said the tiger had taken a liking for the Koladahar area on the periphery of the bird sanctuary which had enough feed for the animal.

“Last Wednesday a calf was devoured by the tiger and the next day a wild boar. The officials at the Ranthambore sanctuary who were sent the picture of the tiger have now confirmed that the tiger, T-7, was missing for long,” he added.

Forest officials from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, the Ranthambore National Park, Dehradun’s Wild Life Institute and Wild Life SOS were camping on the Agra-Mathura border to trap the tiger.

India is home to one of the largest tiger populations in the world but its numbers have declined sharply - now believed to be less that 1,500.

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