A Royal Bengal tiger on the prowl, which had strayed into a village in West Bengal, was captured and tranquilised by forest officials on Tuesday after chasing it for nearly a week. This is the second such incident being reported from the same area this month.
The search for the tiger had led to curious villagers climbing up trees as officials searched for the animal. A villager was injured after falling from a tree during the frenzy.
The fully-grown tiger’s presence was first known after villagers in Maipith in 24 Parganas district, about 73 km from state capital Kolkata, spotted pugmarks. The villagers informed forest officials, but the tiger could not be found. The next day, pugmarks were seen in the nearby Kultali village.
Similar scenes unfolded as the tiger continued to evade man for the next three days, officials were quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
By then, the tiger had managed to cross a river and entered a jungle. For the next two days, villagers could hear thunderous roars at night.
People of the area, who could not sleep for the last one week in fear of the tiger, had formed small groups to guard the villages at night in case the tiger attacks, said a villager.
How the tiger was captured
Officials cleared a forest area and covered it with nets. Prohibitory orders were out in place for locals as forest personnel looked for the tiger.
Officials intensified the search for the tiger on Monday, using drones for surveillance. The forest area was surrounded with nylon nets for 200 hectares, while a barricade was set up with boats on the Piyali river, officials said. Later, the area of the net covering was expanded to 200 square feet.
On Monday evening, after Sunday, forest personnel along with senior officials started combing the area as they walked. They heard the tiger’s roars and sensed its location. The frequent roars indicated that it was hungry and tired, officials said.
By dawn the next day, they spotted the tiger on the bank of the river. Fire personnel, who were on standby, started showering water on the tiger as it stepped into the river. When it turned back for heading into the jungle due to the gushing water, the tiger was shot with a tranquiliser dart, officials said.
The tiger was taken to a rehabilitation centre where team of vets will be examine the animal over the next three-four days. If they give a go-ahead, it will be released into the wilds of the Sunderbans, the home to the Royal Bengal tigers, officials said.(With inputs from PTI)