Tiger continues hide-and-seek with foresters
28 Dec 2008, 0251 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN
LUCKNOW: The young tiger is coming of age. It could be down but not out. The beast in slowly and steadily picking up the art of living in human habitations. The feline eats, rests and runs leaving a trail of pugmarks behind. By the time the foresters reach the site tracking its pugmarks, it has already moved ahead.
The big cat had 15 kgs of bull blue on Saturday in Sansarpur village of Bara Banki. This could have been a pleasant stomach-full diet for the tiger after Tuesday when shooting orders had set everyone baying for its blood. The latest is that it could be heading to Shukulpur jungle in the division. Next on its itinerary could be Rudauli. It seems to have set its eyes on Faizabad as the next destination.
Eversince the orders to kill it came, the tiger has been successful in keeping itself safe. It has not been sighted and those chasing it are comforting themselves with only its pugmarks and kills.
But, stray tigers losing a trail of their homeland in future might not prove lucky.
A separate wildlife rescue team is highly desirable for the state which is seeing a steady rise in incidence where carnivores are venturing out of their wild territories. Yet another incident was reported from Azamgarhpurwa village of Katarniaghat. A leopard came out of forest and attacked a girl on Friday.
The idea to set up a rescue team was floated when a leopard was charred to death in Dhaurara range of North Kheri forest division in May this year.
The team should be equipped with specialised training and technology to safely trap wild animals straying out. It is also needed to ensure the safety of humans in the areas where carnivores venture out.
The department never had a specialised rescue team to handle such incidents. Ex-officials of the department are of the opinion that it was never needed that urgently.
However, the department might have given a re-think to the hurriedly issued shooting orders. It was within three hours of recovering the body of a boy on Tuesday that the department declared the tiger a man-eater and orders to kill it followed.
But, after drawing a flak from all quarters, the official stand on elusive tiger might have softened. Though shooting orders stand valid even today, there are voices confirming that effort has been re-focussed on trapping it alive. Though this time the order might have come merely through words of mouth. And, this does not lessen the need to keep the fingers crossed.