Pugmarks, suspected to be of a tigeress and her cub, were spotted in the forested regions of Jhargram and Bankura districts in the last two days, leading to panic in the area and prompting Forest Department to call a six-member tranquillising team from Sunderbans and set up camera traps and cages.
According to Chief Wildlife Warden R K Sinha, the pugmarks, suspected to be of a tigress and her cub, were discovered by villagers in the forest areas of Jhargram and Bankura district, besides the West Bengal-Jharkhand border areas.
“Residents of Lakshmanpur village in Jhargram’s Binpur area raised an alarm after discovering the pugmarks. We sent officials for inspection and learnt that the pugmarks could be of a tigress and her cub. We have taken measures such as setting up of camera traps and cages to catch the animal. We have also alerted the villagers against venturing into deep forests. We are working with the local administration and have sent a team to tranquilise the tigress,” Sinha said.
Fresh pugmarks were also spotted in Satbanki forest in Jhargram.
The discovery made by the villagers is significant as Similipal National Park, which is a tiger reserve, in Mayurbhanj district of neighbouring Odisha is just about 200 km from Lakshmanpur village.
In April 2018, a Royal Bengal Tiger, which remained elusive for 42 days in Lalgarh area, was found dead near Jhargram district’s Kotawali area. The tiger was killed by local residents. There were sharp injury marks on the tiger’s body. The tiger had strayed into West Bengal forests from Jharkhand.