Kheri tiger trapped; to be brought to Lucknow zoo
2 Mar 2009, 0236 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN
LUCKNOW: Where there is a will there is a way. The adage perfectly fits in the context of forest department and its tiger-trapping operations. While the dust has not yet settled on the issue of man-eating tag assigned to the Faizabad feline which was shot down on Tuesday, the department has revealed its wildlife-sensitive side by safely tranquillising the Kheri tiger.
The confirmation comes from none other than the chief wildlife warden, UP, BK Patnaik that the tiger was tranquillised on Sunday. It was trapped by an expert from the Wildlife Trust of India. The team from WTI had installed cameras at the spot and on Saturday morning the tiger got clicked when it came out from Kishenpur in Kamp Tanda village. The team from WTI had been stationed in Faizabad since January. Did the department act in haste to cut short its role there?
The trapped tiger will be brought to Lucknow zoo, said sources. It is a healthy adult but officials are restraining their comments on its sex. “We need time to comment on whether it is male or female,” said one of them. The department seems to have learned a lesson from Faizabad mistake.
The tiger had become a source of fear for the residents of Kamp Tanda, an ill-fated village in south Kheri forest division. It had claimed five human lives in its one-and-a-half month long stay in the village. Four of them were from Kamp Tanda alone. The last one was a woman who was dragged out of her hut in the dead of the night on February 19. The department had declared the tiger to be a man-eater after the incident. But, as the officials had shared then that the option to trap it was kept open. This was in sharp contrast to the stance taken during the operations in Faizabad.
The tiger had moved out of Kishenpur sanctuary on January 4 and had been moving in-and-out of it since then. The department had begun the efforts to get hold of it after it killed a third man on January 18 in Kamp Tanda. Unlike the young tiger of Faizabad it had become a compulsive seeker of human prey which is the most important parameter to declare any tiger a man-eater.
Besides, it was trapped within ten-days after it killed the last human. There was constant night patrolling and day vigil in the area and WTI had installed hi-tech equipment to aid the trapping. The Faizabad tiger was killed on February 24, more than a month after it claimed its last human prey (on January 15). But in so far as Faizabad failure proved to be a lesson for the department it is better to say that all’s well that ends well.