‘Stray tiger may reach Lucknow anytime’
Neha Attre Posted: Dec 14, 2008 at 0356 hrs
Lucknow The tiger that strayed a fortnight ago continues to hoodwink the state Forest department officials. It has now reached Barabanki-Lucknow border and is barely five kilometres away from the state capital, triggering an alert among the officials.
The big cat was spotted in Khapurwa village on Saturday. Prawesh (10), a villager, said: “I took my cows to the jungle for grazing. When I came back after a while, I saw the tiger circling the cows. I ran as fast as I could and alerted other villagers.” The villagers are now scared to even move out of their houses.
Its pug marks were last spotted in Kiwaripur village in Barabanki on Friday. “The tiger has covered nearly 15 km to reach Harak range in Barabanki district. It had killed two goats and has not been spotted since then,” said AK Singh, Divisional Forest Officer, Harak range, Barabanki. He added, “Barely five kilometres from Lucknow, it just has to cross the Gomti to reach the city.”
Usually scared of glaring lights, the tiger managed to cross the busy railway crossing in Safedabad. Forest officials said the tiger must have crossed around 3 am on Saturday.
They also said it is unusual for a tiger to move during daytime. “However, it travelled quite a bit of distance during the day on Saturday and even made a killing. It could be due to hunger as well,” said Singh.
He, however, added, “Once the animal is out of its natural habitat, its behaviour cannot be predicted.”
Two elephants have also been called in from the Dudhwa National Park for rescue operations. To capture the tiger, forest officials have laid a trap in the forests of Harak range with three goats as live bait. The pugmarks are also being tracked to ascertain its movement.
“There is a possibility that the tiger must have moved ahead,” Singh said.