Ranthambore tiger strays, attacks woman
22 Mar 2009, 0511 hrs IST, Anindo Dey, TNN
JAIPUR: A two-year-old male tiger strayed from the Ranthambore National Park and attacked a woman at Kutalpura village near Mirza Ghati on Saturday morning. The woman has been admitted to a hospital and is said to be stable.
According to sources in the forest department, the tiger had been roaming around the fringe areas of the park for the past 15 days. "This morning it strayed into a village chasing a prey and on seeing the woman close by, attacked her," the official said.
The woman was saved by the villagers after she raised an alarm. The tiger later attacked a forest guard, Mohan Lal, as well, leaving him injured.
"There was utter confusion and panic-striken villagers were running helter-skelter as the tiger was still at large in the village and no one knew where exactly it was. When word reached us, we rushed to the spot by 7 am. The tiger, which was hiding in a bush, was difficult to spot but within half a hour we managed to locate it," said a senior forest official of the national park.
Then it was a question of firing a tranquiliser dart and capturing the tiger. But this proved a difficult task, especially with the villagers being in complete panic. It was only around 1 pm that forest officials could tranquilise the tiger. Later, forest officials took the tiger to the relatively unoccupied Sawai Man Singh sanctuary adjoining the park and released it there.
"This is a sub-adult tiger and our aim in releasing it at the Sawai Man Singh sanctuary is to help it mark its territory there so that it settles down," said R N Mehrotra, chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan.
He ruled out the possibility of the tiger turning into a maneater. "This is a young, fit adult and it only injured the woman. Old tigers turn maneaters as they are incapable of hunting other prey. But if they are not injured, human flesh is the last thing that they want," he added.
Mehrotra said the tiger will be fitted with a radio collar so that a better check could be kept on it. "The straying of the tiger to the village was due to what we call the edge effect. Animals often stray into these areas as there is a lot of crop and tigers in a bid to catch prey land up in the villages," he said.