The most dreaded tiger of Ranthambhore T-24, popularly known as Ustad, is accused of not growling at humans, a sign of warning usually tigers give before they attack their target.
In the preliminary report, prepared by a committee formed by Ranthambhore park management, Ustad has been declared “a danger to humans”. But the report is silent whether the tiger stalked humans to kill or attacked them only when provoked or sensed danger.
“The report has found T-24 did not growl to warn humans and used to suddenly attack. His behavior towards humans had changed as compared to other tigers in the park,” chief wildlife warden RK Tyagi said.
It was on the basis of the committee report the largest predator of Ranthambhore was shifted to captivity at Sajjangarh Biological Park in Udaipur on May 16.
However, now questions are being raised over the committee itself which included member of an NGO and a hotelier of Ranthambhore and park authorities. Ranthambhore Bachao Aandolan Samiti president Akshay Sharma said the committee members are locals with commercial and vested interests. “Why the park management did not wait when the forest minister had announced to form a committee for look into the whole matter?” he said.
Tyagi said the park management sighted T-24 on May 16 and considered it proper to tranquilise and relocate it. He said the report has dwelt on larger issue of danger to humans from the tiger.
Meanwhile, a team of the National Tiger Conservation Authority is visiting Ranthambhore to investigate the whole matter.
‘Final decision yet to be taken’
Forest minister Raj Kumar Rinwa said a final decision on the fate of T-24 is yet to be taken. He said blood test and other medical tests on the tiger will be conducted. “If it is found in tests that T-24 is not different from other tigers, it may be relocated to Ranthambhore, Sariska or Kumbhalgarh,” Rinwa said.