A day after the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court sought to know from the Forest Department why the tigress T1 from Pandharkawda hasn’t attacked anyone from August 28 if she was a habitual man-eater, T1 was physically seen and also captured on camera trap.
The tigress, incidentally, passed close to the Forest Department base camp at Sarati village around 9 pm on Tuesday and was captured on a trap camera there. On Wednesday morning, she killed a cow belonging to farmer Vitthal Thakre from Sarati in compartment number 157 around 10 am. The farmer panicked and rushed to the camp and informed the authorities. A team three trackers, veterinary doctor Ravi Khobragade and shooter Shafat Ali Khan and his team rushed to the place. When the trackers went inside the forest along with the farmer, the tigress ferociously growled and charged at them. “It was extremely risky and hence virtually impossible to tranquilize the tigress,” sources said.
Shockingly, the tigress appeared to have walked the road close to the camp situated at the opening of compartment number 150 and headed towards Sarati village. “We spotted her pug-marks just about 200 m from the village which is quite an ominous sign. It means the tigress could be back to her aggressive ways after we have strategically reduced patrolling and tracking pressure to lure her out of her hiding,” sources said.
The situation is poised to become precarious under the circumstances once again as the farmers can still be seen watering their farms at night when they get the power supply.
On Monday, one of the cubs of the tigress was spotted by a tracking team near Anji village.
With the HC also seeking to know about the order in which the tigress and the cubs have to be captured or the tigress to be shot if necessary, the hands of the authorities have got tied up at least till Thursday, when the department has to reply to the court on the questions asked.
The tracking and tranquilizing teams called off the tigress’s chase around 5.30 pm. “We will have to step up our night patrolling to prevent the tigress from hurting anyone,” sources said.
Tigress with five cubs
A tigress with five cubs, considered very rare in tiger ecology, has been found staying in the Chandrapur range of Chandrapur district. “She is living with her cubs at about 5 kms from the city in my range. The cubs were born in January and we have since been taking care to restrict them to the place by making water available in abundance,” said Range Forest Officer Santosh Tipe.
A tigress with five cubs, considered very rare in tiger ecology, has been found staying in the Chandrapur range of Chandrapur district in Nagpur. pic.twitter.com/9VB9KmsFx6
Incidentally, he 500 ha (50 sq km) Chandrapur range has about 20 tigers, including 13 cubs. “That’s a very big number for any range,” said Tipe.
It was in Chandrapur range only that a tigress with four cubs and another tigress with three cubs have been found staying on the premises of Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station. “It’s very rare to have a tigress with five cubs. A famous tigress from Madhya Pradesh Pench Tiger Reserve, called Baghin Nala had also five cubs in recent times. A tigress would generally have bigger litter if conditions are conducive for the cubs’ growth like good habitat and ample food and water,” said Nitin Desai, Central India Director of Wildlife Protection Society of India.