Tiger on prowl in Wayanad caught in Forest dept's trap

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Sulthan Bathery: The Forest department personnel heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday night, when the problem tiger (Tholppetty 7) that spread terror in the human habitats in Kenichira, near here, killing four cows in two days, was captured on Sunday night. The animal had fallen in the trap set by the forest department at the house of Kizhakkeyil Sabu, on Sunday around 11 pm.  After primary examination, the animal has been shifted to Irulam forest office premises in the night itself.

According to senior forest officials, the animal would be shifted to animal care facilities only after a thorough medical examination under expert veterinarians as it suffered serious wounds.

The animal had visited thrice the stable of Maliyekkal Benny on Sunday night where it had killed two cows on Saturday. In an effort to stray it away, the forest department personnel had to fire rubber bullets at the animal which ran into darkness.

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) had been on surveillance in the area throughout the night as the tiger triggered panic. District Collector had issued prohibition orders in Poothadi Panchayath to regulate human movement in the area.

Public outcry and efforts to capture
On Sunday, farmers and local residents staged a protest by blocking the Sulthan Bathery- Mananthavadi road seeking action to capture the tiger. As the protest continued, Forest Minister A K Saseendran directed the wildlife officials to take necessary steps to capture the tiger. Collector Renu Raj said if the animal could not be caged, steps would be taken to catch it after tranquilising it. The Chief Wildlife Warden has been directed to grant permission immediately for this after completing necessary legal procedures, an official statement said quoting her. Senior Wildlife Department officials rushed to the area and assured the villagers that necessary steps would be taken immediately to tranquilise the animal. Steps have already been initiated to bring rapid response team personnel to the area as part of the mission to capture the animal, they said.

Farmers to get compensation
Forest officials also said Rs 30,000 would be given as an advance of the solatium to the farmers who had lost cows in the tiger attack. The rest of the amount will be handed over to them after completing the post-mortem procedures of the carcasses of the cows, they added.
(With PTI inputs)

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