Forest Dept did not know big cat?s sex! | india | Hindustan Times
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Forest Dept did not know big cat?s sex!

IT?S UNBELIEVABLE, but true. The State Forest Department was not sure whether the man-eater it had killed last month was a tiger or tigress. The department had to wait for the autopsy report, which arrived on Monday, to know that the big cat was a tiger.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 01:34 IST

IT’S UNBELIEVABLE, but true. The State Forest Department was not sure whether the man-eater it had killed last month was a tiger or tigress. The department had to wait for the autopsy report, which arrived on Monday, to know that the big cat was a tiger.

After killing the beast on August 8, the department had maintained that the man-eater was a ‘tigress’. It said the big cat had to be killed as four persons had fallen prey to the beast.

The goof-up in identifying the sex of the beast was quite surprising given the fact that hunters and senior officers in the Forest Department were keeping track of the beast for days before it was felled.

“Normally, the sex of a big cat is determined on the basis of pug marks. A tigress has a bit elongated pug mark while a tiger’s is more of a square,” said Chief Wildlife Warden Mohammad Ahsan.

In this case, Ahsan said senior officers on duty had taken the findings of the junior field-level officer and did not verify it. However, such goof-ups were rare, especially when it comes to declaring a beast man-eater, said the Chief Wildlife Warden.

A whole-lot of senior officers, including the Chief Wildlife Warden, were present during the operation to kill the seriously injured and frail man-eater in the jungles of Kanp-Tanda.

Former principal chief conservator of forests Ravindra Singh Bhadouria said such mistakes could prove costly and proper identification of the animal was a must before declaring it a ‘man-eater’. He blamed senior officers on duty for the lapse.
Also, the autopsy report from the IVRI, Bareilly, has ended the controversy. It said the man-eater was old enough to die. It was 14-years-old and there was no fat in the cutaneuos region as a result it had become fragile. The beast was also suffering from renal failure. Therefore, the decision taken to kill the man-eater could be termed as ‘mercy killing’, said VP Singh, an environmentalist at the Dudhwa National Park.

The report had also resolved the row that broke out following the killing of the severely injured man-eater.