High-tech tracking on for man-killing tiger
TNN, Aug 1, 2010, 12.59am IST
LUCKNOW: If not the first ever, it is at least a rare practice of high-tech tracking of a man-killing tiger that Pilibhit forest officials have taken up. The forest department is getting help from the wildlife organisations which are providing the department the needed expertise and the `cameras' which can incessantly click for 60-odd days.
The sub-adult tiger which made its first killing on May 3 and latest on July 27 has been lying inactive for past some days. Jamuna Prasad of Dilawarpur village in Ghundchai beat of Deoria range of Pilibhit forest division was killed by the man-eater on July 27.
On Saturday, forest department decided to change the position of eight web cameras which were installed at the killing sites on July 25. "We will now install cameras every 2 km," said divisional forest officer (DFO) Pilibhit VK Singh. The entire Deoria range of 712 sqkm will be divided into 25 grids, each of four sqkm area. A camera will be installed at every grid to locate the tiger.
It was on July 25 that the tiger was clicked by the cameras. It has remained elusive since then though it struck again two days after. The cameras click automatically moment the animal passes by. Every two days the camera trappings are downloaded. The trappings so far have given some clue on the tiger. "It is not at all injured but we cannot say what is making it to kill men," said DFO.
The tiger since May 3 has killed five men and preyed on them partially. It struck on June 7 and 23 and July 25 and 27. However, all the victims had gone to the forest as their bodies were recovered from about 5 km inside the forest area. This is, in fact, the reason why the forest officials are hesitant to brand the big cat a `man-eater'.
Though tiger is not compulsively seeking a human prey, vigil is on in the area to trap it before it makes another kill. The precautionary measures will be followed during the monsoon period. The villagers who enter the forest will be treated as tresspassers. On Saturday, two tresspassers were caught by the forest staff.
An awareness campaign too is underway in the area. Villagers are being informed about the tiger's presence and the precautions they should take.