Stray tiger wounded in gun-shot
8 Feb 2009, 0508 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN
LUCKNOW: Faizabad could be the last destination of the young tiger’s three months old voyage outside Pilibhit forests. Dodging the shots of apathetic officials ever since December 13, the big cat could not out-run the range of their gun-shots on Saturday.
Though forest officials from the spot could not be contacted for the latest reports, sources from the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), agency assisting the forest department in the operation, said that feline got injured after one of the shots fired by the department’s henchmen in the operation hit it.
The two-and-a-half year old tiger escaped from the scene and desperate officials are said to be trailing it in the Kumarganj forest. No wonder that Kumarganj forest – tiger’s abode from December 28 – might stand witness to the cruel end of the tiger soon.
In fact, the way entire operation was being handled ever since it was started, the chances of the tiger being trapped alive seemed remote. The department does not have the expertise to catch it alive and the private agencies which were roped in were not given a free hand in the operation. Instead, they had to toe the line of the forest department.
There were experts brought in from other states to trap the tiger but nothing helped. The big cat, now reportedly injured, is still lurking in the Kumarganj forest of Faizabad near Kutia Bachkuna village. The forest with an area of about 30 sq km has a Betwa nullah flowing along, which is a tributary of river Gomti. The tiger has never left the bank of Gomti all through.
On Thursday, at least four shots were fired at it by Mahendra Singh, the official leading the operation. The effort was made in keeping with the department’s aim to kill the tiger. “The tiger showed up on many occasions and forest officials could have darted it but they are fed up with it,” said Raghvendra Singh, wildlife enthusiast who visited the Kumarganj spot.