Hunt launched for Mathura’s marauding tiger
Forest officials have launched a hunt for a marauding tiger that has been attacking humans in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, but remain unable to track it down even after two days.india Updated: Oct 05, 2010 23:54 IST
Forest officials have launched a hunt for a marauding tiger that has been attacking humans in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, but remain unable to track it down even after two days.
Officials from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan launched the operation to trap the tiger after it mauled four villagers in Mathura on Monday.
The hunt shifted to Beri village on Tuesday after tiger pugmarks were found there.
“The area of search has been expanded with added force deployed,” said Forest Conservator R.P. Bharti.
The tiger that has held much of the district to ransom went missing from Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary more than 40 days ago and, astonishingly, ended up in Mathura district after travelling more than 200 km of densely populated territory unnoticed.
It might have been spotted now but is still giving forest officials camping in Beri village the slip by prowling around at night and taking cover in the paddy fields by day.
According to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) officials, it is not uncommon for tigers to travel long distances.
In the 19th century, Rajasthan’s tiger reserves Sariska and Ranthambore were connected with Kuno and Panna reserves in Madhya Pradesh through a forest corridor.
“The tiger has taken the historical route (through Chambal ravines) but failed to find forests beyond Bharatpur in Rajasthan and wandered into a human habitat,” an NCTA official said.
Wildlife experts say the increasing incidents of tigers venturing into human habitats indicate an increase in the tiger population.
“It indicates that tiger population is increasing but they don’t have a safe home,” said N.V.K. Asharf, a tiger expert with Wildlife Trust of India.
When the tiger population rises, they begin to look for new homes. Every adult tiger has a home range, which mainly depends on prey abundance. It can range from anywhere between 10 to 150 square kilometres.
“The tiger spotted in Mathura was also searching for a home range,” said Karthick Satyanarayan, director of Wildlife SOS, an NGO, which has also sent a team to trap the tiger at Mathura.