A tiger that had briefly gone missing after being found unconscious near a village inside Ratapani sanctuary was located on Monday evening, state wildlife official said.
Chief conservator of forest (Bhopal) Mahendra Yadavendu told Hindustan Times that more than two dozen forest officials and experts had been trying to trace the tiger since Monday morning. The tiger had entered a thicket on Sunday evening where it could not be located due to darkness.
The tiger had been found unconscious on Sunday near village Rampura in Bineka beat of Ratapani, about 50 kms from Bhopal.
"We intensified the search this morning to tranquilise the tiger so that we could investigate why he was not well, whether he was injured or suffering from some ailment," he said. Finally, around 5pm, they tracked him. He was found near its kill, a wild boar, he added.
Asked about the possibility whether the tiger had been injured by poachers trying to kill it, Mahendra Yadavendu said that nothing could be said at the moment. "Prima facie the tiger looked all right and so we decided not to tranquilise him. But we are keeping a close watch on (its) activities. We just want to confirm that all is well with the tiger and nothing serious has happened," he said.
Villagers in the surrounding areas have been alerted and asked to stay away from the sanctuary, which has been closed to the public, he said.
The movement of tigers from Ratapani sanctuary near human habitations in Bhopal and Sehore has been giving sleepless nights to villagers for the last few months.