Chamarajanagara, Oct 10 : Villages on the fringes of Bandipur Tiger Reserve have been cordoned off and declared out-of-bounds for villagers, cattle-grazers, safari tourists and the public following a massive operation continued on Thursday to capture the elusive tiger which is said to have killed two men in the span of one month.
Following the death of two farmers in the same place, Forest Department has formed Teams led by Conservators and Assistant Conservators who have intensified the combing operations. Six tamed elephants, including the experienced Dasara elephant Abhimanyu, were also included in the team, to trap the tiger.
This morning, a tiger was sighted at Chowdahalli but its identity has not been established. Soon after the sighting, forest officers contacted the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) in Bengaluru for directions. The PCCF directed them to give preference to Tranquillise and capture the big cat.
Later, villagers informed officials that the feline was hiding in a banana plantation. The team rushed there only to find the tiger missing. The elephant team, led by mighty Abhimanyu, included elephants-- Rohit, Ganesh, Gopalaswamy, Gajendra and Jayaprakash. Each elephant has four to five forest staffers holding binoculars and Tranquilliser guns.
Forest officials have over 600 camera traps in the entire range that is the territory of five tigers. Bandipur Project Tiger Reserve Director T Balachandra said they have installed additional cameras at points where they suspect the tiger might be sighted.
Officials sighted fresh pug marks near Huliyamma Temple and have extended the combing operations to the surrounding areas. First the task is to identify the tiger and then trap or tranquillize the big cat.
The Department is also using a unique bait to attract the tiger by positioning “skeletal dolls” smeared with human blood. Officials argue that the scent of the blood will attract the tiger, thereby making it easier to Tranquillise and capture it. Over 100 to 150 ml blood will be smeared over the dolls and placed in locations frequented by the feline. (UNI)