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No death for maneaters

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2010 01:11 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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None of the human killing tigers in the fields of Pilibhit will face death, the government has decided.

Instead, they will be relocated deep into the forest having strong prey base.

Uttar Pradesh's forest department officials have identified a tigress with a cub in Kishanpur area and another tiger near Pilibhit believed to be behind slaughter of seven persons in the last one month.

All the victims were killed when they ventured inside the forest area to collect wild vegetables, which proliferate during monsoon. Their partially eaten bodies were discovered after their family members reported them missing.

Similar tiger-related human deaths have been reported from Ranthambore, Rajasthan and Tadoba reserve in Maharashtra.

Heavy rains this monsoon can be a probable reason. "In Kishanpur area, the tigress and her cub had been spotted near the sugarcane cultivation (which looks green like a grassland for tigers)," said Rajesh Gopal, member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority, who will be visiting Pilibhit to oversee the operations to catch the killer tigers.

NCTA officials, who have reviewed reports from Rajasthan and Maharashtra, said: "In none of the cases tiger entered a human habitation and attacked a person. It was only when a person confronted the tiger in fields or fringe forestland, the big cat attacked."

The NCTA has already called experts from Wildlife Institute of India and Wildlife Trust of India to monitor the relocation, likely to start this week.