UDHAGAMANDALAM: “This is the first time a problematic tiger is being captured alive in Tamil Nadu. It is in its prime,” principal chief conservator of forests Shekar Kumar Niraj told TOI. But trapping MDT-23 (Mudumalai Division Tiger 23) was no easy task and the operation lasted three weeks.
Wounded and pushed out of its territory by young tigers, 13-year-old MDT-23 killed a resident of Muduguli village in the core area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on July 19.
According to forest department officials, the big cat was then found roaming in private tea estates of Devarshola. It killed an estate worker in Devan I estate on September 24. It also killed four heads of cattle in the area.
After an operation was launched to capture it, the tiger left for Singara range in MTR buffer zone, which is 32km away. On October 1, it killed a tribal man in Kurumbarpadi hamlet near Masinagudi.
Search operation intensified by involving a special team from Wayanad in Kerala, three sniffer dogs, special task force (STF) members, two kumki elephants and an elite special forest team. The operation continued for 22 days. However, in the past five days, the strength of the teams was reduced to 30, and further to 10 on Thursday.
After getting permission from the national tiger conservation authority (NTCA) and conforming to protocols, the tiger was sent to the Mysore Zoo for treatment. Four veterinarians and some forest officials accompanied the animal.
“The tiger will be given special facility at the zoo for treatment. Before transportation, intravenous glucose was administered and its pulse was checked,” said Niraj. “The whole procedure was documented and videographed,” he added.

Source link Times of India


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