‘Man-eater’ tiger on prowl on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border

Kerala government issues order to kill the tiger following killing of two persons

 
By M Suchitra
Last Updated: Monday 17 August 2015

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Officials of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have mounted a massive combing operation in the forests bordering Kerala’s Wayanad district and Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district to catch a 'man-eater' tiger that killed two persons last week. The Kerala government has issued a shoot-at-sight order to eliminate the tiger.

A 62-year-old farmer, S Bhaskaran, was killed and eaten by a tiger on February 10 at Noolpuzha, close to Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary in Wayanad.  He was passing through a forest path when the animal pounced on him. Three days later, on February 14, a private tea estate worker, K Mahalakshmi, 30, was killed, supposedly by the same tiger, at Pattavayal, a village just 5 km away from Noolpuzha, on the Kerala side. The tiger was hiding inside the estate. Mahalakshmi suffered serious injuries on the neck and stomach and died on the spot due to heavy bleeding. Soon after the incident, the tiger escaped into the forests bordering the two states. 

imageThe incidents triggered widespread protests from locals in Pattavayal region, resulting in torching of three Kerala forest department jeeps; three women police personnel were injured in the incident. The area is under curfew for the past three days. After the second person was killed, Kerala’s chief wildlife warden, G Harikumar, formally issued the order to kill the ‘man-eating’ tiger.

The tiger has also attacked another person while forest officials were making preparations to trap the animal. Rajeesh, 29, was attacked when he went with Tamil Nadu forest officials to try and tranquilise the tiger. Two rounds of tranquilisers were fired at the tiger. They missed the target and the tiger turned towards the officials and attacked Ratheesh, who was helping the officials.

Under the National Tiger Conservation Authority's procedure, a man-eating tiger can be eliminated by invoking section 11 of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 only as the last option. Meanwhile, wildlife conservationists and environmentalist groups have petitioned Nilgiris district collector P Shankar, not to allow forest officials kill the carnivore.

 


Question raised in Rajya Sabha on steps taken to protection of Tigers, 31/07/2014

Status of tigers in India, 2014

Influence of connectivity, wild prey and disturbance on occupancy of tigers in the human-dominated Western Terai Arc landscape

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