The tiger that had spread panic among villagers in the Nilgiris district was shot dead by forest personnel Wednesday, bringing an end to the two-week long hunt for the maneater.
After the tiger was spotted near Kundachappai village by trap cameras, forest officials searched the area and shot the animal. Though it managed to escape from there, it was found dead some distance away after an hour’s search, said district collector P Shankar.
For days, special teams have been combing the difficult forest terrain with tranquiliser guns to capture and release it far away from human habitation. However, by then repeated attacks had claimed three lives. Also, closing down of schools and restricted functioning of shops and other establishments and estates — the main livelihood of the local population — led to widespread discontent among villagers.
On Wednesday, hundreds of them ventured into the forest armed with sickles, logs and iron bars to kill the tiger. Though officials from forest, revenue and police managed to convince them that such adventurism would only hamper the experts’ efforts, the pressure seems to have weighed heavy on the hunting party which shot to kill, not capture, when it was finally spotted in the evening.