Tiger strays into Sitapur
Express News Service Posted: Dec 02, 2008 at 0308 hrs
Lucknow, December 1 The appearance of a big cat in Sitapur has left the forest department officials flummoxed.
For starters, the area is far from tigers’ roaming grounds. The nearest sanctuary is Dudhwa National Park, which is 90 kilometres away. And secondly, they are not sure whether it is a tiger or tigress. The animal has killed one ox in Mohammadi range and one calf in Maholi village. So far, it has not attacked any humans.
According to the senior forest department officials, it had travelled all the way from Dudhwa. It was first seen outside Dudhwa on November 24. Next, pugmarks were seen in Shahjanpur and on Sunday, the animal was observed in Sitapur.
“The animal was traced in Mahoba on Monday and is expected to move towards Hargaon. We are keeping a strict vigil and are expecting it to move towards Lakhimpur Kheri. We will not catch the animal as it seems to be going in circles on its way back,” said CP Goyal, Lucknow’s Divisional Forest Conservator.
Cases of tigers straying outside the national park in the breeding season are not unusual, say officials. But never before had one strayed so far. They hope it will soon go back to Lakhimpur Kheri, which is part of Dudhwa.
B K Patnaik, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), however, isn’t sure that the animal has come from Dudhwa or will go back there. “It has yet not been established whether it travelled all the way from Dudhwa. But teams have been deployed to track the movement of the animal,” he said.