Search for the elusive tiger continues

Search for the elusive tiger continues

Atiq Khan – Sunday, Dec 14, 2008

LUCKNOW: After searching in vain for the elusive male tiger for the last several days, forest officials have now pinned their hopes on an elephant to help them trap the animal.

The male tiger had wandered into human habitat after he ventured out of the forests in Pilibhit district about a month back. On Saturday, it was hiding in the jungles alongside Gauriya Ghat on the banks of the Gomti in Haidergarh in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh.

The tiger’s pugmarks were noticed in Tewaripur village on the Lucknow-Barabanki border on Dewa Road in Barabanki district on Friday. It had also injured a calf in Parasurampur village but soon vanished in the sugarcane fields. When the search was launched from Tewaripur on Saturday morning, it was found that the carnivore had changed course and wandered another 10 to 15 kms during the night to reach Gauriya Ghat in Haidergarh tehsil.

An elephant has been requisitioned from the Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri district by the forest officials to take the search teams in the small, albeit dense jungles and the adjoining cane fields in the Haidergarh. “The elephant is on its way from Dudhwa and is expected to reach Haidergarh on Sunday when the search will begin again,” said the Divisional Forest Officer of Barabanki, A.P. Tripathi.

The DFO feels that without the services of an elephant it would be practically impossible to enter the small, albeit dense forests of Haidergarh range. “The tiger is presently in Barabanki district, but if it crosses the river during the night he will enter Lucknow district,” said Mr. Tripathi. Three to four goats have been kept as baits for the tiger. “If the goats are killed by the tiger then he will stay put in the jungles, making it easier for the forest teams to trap it,” he said.

The tiger has created panic in the villages with midnight vigil becoming a routine exercise.

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