A TIGER born and brought up on the premises of the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station in Maharashtra was caught from Satpura Thermal Power Plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Sarni town on Monday.
“We were monitoring the tiger for last several days. It was posing a big risk to humans because it was not moving from the area. It had killed two humans in the past. It had to be tranquilised,’’ said MP Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Shahbaz Ahmed. The tiger will be shifted to Van Vihar in Bhopal, he added.
The Betul district administration had imposed Section 144 in Sarni, prohibiting movement of people at night. Panic had gripped the area after people sighted the tiger several times over the last few days.
Ajay Kumar Varma, an employee of the Satpura plant said the tiger was frequently spotted between the officers’ colony and the ash pond, a distance of nearly two kilometers.
Divisional Forest Officer (Betul) Rakhi Nanda said rescue teams of the forest department were trying to drive away the big cat towards the forest but it kept returning. “The rescue operation began around 5 am on Monday and concluded around 4.30 pm… The tiger has been revived after being tranqulised and was healthy,” she added.
Around the end of September, the two-year-old tiger had left its home on the premises of the thermal power station at Chandrapur. For the last 10 days, it was camping at Sarni, in the process, travelling about 500 km — the longest distance any tiger is known to have travelled in search of territory or a mate. It was camping near the ash pond at the Satpura plant. At Chandrapur, too, it used to stay near the ash pond.
The tiger was born and brought up on the premises of Chandrapur plant as one of the four siblings of a tigress that had possibly stayed out of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Around three months ago, it got separated from its mother and started moving in the direction of Bhadravati town. After attacking a few cattle, it moved on to the next town, Warora, where, too, it reportedly killed a few cattle.
It continued to move further up to Hinganghat tahsil of Wardha district, where it was spotted sitting near a road toll plaza. Videos of people chasing it had gone viral on social media. The sub-adult cub entered the central ammunition depot at Pulgaon in Wardha, where it reportedly stayed for some time before crossing over to Dhamangaon tahsil in Amravati. On October 19, it killed a farmer in Mangrul-Dastagir village.
Two days later, it killed another farmer about 10 km away, forcing Maharashtra PCCF A K Mishra to issue an order to tranquilise it. Additional PCCF Sunil Limaye was sent to Amravati to lead the operation. The tiger, however, continued to dodge the forest staff and kept walking towards Teos before crossing over to Betul in MP. Along the way, it kept killing cattle.
Wildlife activist and Honorary Wildlife Warden of Chandrapur, Bandu Dhotre, said: “This tiger was brought up on the premises of the Chandrapur plant. He has never known a regular forest. Moreover, there are over 1,000 stray cattle roaming on the plant premises that provide easy food. So, such tigers don’t encounter their natural preys.”