January 6, 2009 2:27:51 am
To exacerbate the nightmares of the forest department,a third tiger surfaced near Tanda village of Lakhimpur Kheri and killed a 16-year-old boy,Pillu Singh,on Sunday. Already two tigers one in Ghazipur and another in Faizabad are giving the department a hard time.
Forest officials suspect that this one has come from the nearby Kishanpur Sanctuary.
The victim was in the sugarcane fields,adjacent to the forest,when the tiger attacked, said Ramesh Chandra Jha,Divisional Forest Officer of South Kheri. The department,he said,will not declare the animal a maneater or mankiller as of now,we are trying to assess whether it was provoked.
On Monday,the Forest Department declared the Faizabad tiger as a man-killer. On December 22,the authorities had declared it a maneater after it killed a 14-year-old boy near Sarai Bilahari village in Barabanki. For two months,teams have been chasing it after it came out of the forests in Pilibhit. It reached outskirts of Lucknow on December 14,and turned towards Sultanpur and Faizabad. It has now moved towards Bihara jungle.
As for the tiger in Ghazipur,forest department teams have lost its track. They believe it has settled in the jungles of Kaimur district in Bihar. Over the last few days,it had attacked several people,but no one was seriously injured.
Wildlife experts say the tigers are straying owing to the degradation of forests and lack of sufficient territory. Apart from the core area,they should also be provided with a buffer zone to reduce man-animal conflict, said Rajesh Gopal,member secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The state government plans to formulate a long-term strategy to prevent such incidents in future.
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