Tigress’s spectacular leap to freedom

Tigress’s spectacular leap to freedom
Last Updated: 6:01pm GMT 19/02/2008
The tiger had to be rescued from a date palm tree where she had sought sanctuary after being chased and stoned by terrified villagers.

She had strayed into the village at Deulbari about 150 miles south of Calcutta from the nearby Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.

She was eventually shot with a tranquilliser dart and captured before being taken aboard the fishing vessel.

Her wounds were treated before she was released deep inside the mangrove reserve.

After leaping into the sea she swam powerfully into the shallows and bounded away to safety.

Atanu Raha, West Bengal’s chief conservator of forest, said: “Although the tigress received some injuries while being tranquillised and caught, she was treated and found fit to be released in the reserve area.”

The Sunderbans, nearly 10,000 square kilometres (3,860 square miles) of marshlands and mangrove forests along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, is one of the few remaining natural tiger habitats in India.

Tigers have been slowly disappearing from forests and reserves in India due to poaching, growing tourism, and a shortage of properly trained forest guards.

The tiger population has dropped from nearly 3,600 five years ago to about 1,411, the government-run Project Tiger said recently.



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