Feb 1, 2014
LUCKNOW: The forest department’s tiger hunt in west UP has turned more confusing. It has emerged that not one but two big cats are on the prowl along the 150km UP-Uttarakhand border in Moradabad and Bijnor districts. The forest officials, though, have no clue which one is the man-eater who has claimed eight human victims in the Corbett landscape since December last week. Three shooters, who are assisting the forest department in the man-eater’s trail, have failed to either map its movement or sight it. Pugmarks found in the region, though, indicate the man-eating feline is a tigress. “We found two different pugmarks at the place. One of them matches that of a tigress,” said Kamlesh Kumar. conservator, Moradabad. “The bodies were found in bushy areas and no clear pugmarks were visible,” he said. The two big cats are moving in Badapur range of Najibabad forest division on UP-Uttarakhand border. After January 10, the man-eater struck again after two weeks and killed a man on January 26 in UP. The lull between January 10 and 26 suggested that the animal might have retreated to its habitat in the Corbett park. A killing reported from Kalagarh forest in Uttarakhand on January 14 added to the belief. The UP side of the border is more thickly populated and six of the eight victims were from the state. Since bodies were recovered from fringes of the forest, it shows that victims had entered the forest area. At least 10 to 12 border villages in UP are reeling under the terror of the man-eater. It is also not clear why the tigress has turned a man-eater. “Only after we sight the tigress can we say if it is injured or old, or has some kind of deformity,” said a forest official. “We have put cages and teams are tracking the pugmarks. Our emphasis is to ascertain which one of the two is a man-eating tiger,” he said. UP forest department had declared the feline “man-eater” on January 9 and ordered its tranquilizing, trapping or shooting if the need be. But so far, the big cat has managed to dodge the forest officials and every new kill it makes is like a ‘catch me if you can’ bait for them.
As posted in timesofindia.indiatimes.com