Chennai, Oct 13 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has sped up its combing operations in the forest tracts of Gudalur, Masinagudi, and Singara areas after the hidden cameras spotted the MDT23 tiger which had remained elusive for the past five days.
Chief Wildlife Warden Shekar Kumar Neeraj, who is heading the operations personally on the ground, told IANS that they cannot reveal the exact location of the tiger for the safety of the animal.
Residents of villages surrounding Gudalur and Masinagudi forest areas have complained that the tiger had killed four human beings and 12 cattle heads and has remained elusive.
Forest officials confirmed that they had seen the picture of the tiger in the camera trap on Tuesday and the tiger is moving along its home territory of Gudalur, Masinagudi, Singara, and Bospara.
"The veterinarians and forest staff are deployed in the area where the tiger's photo was captured in the camera and on Tuesday we tried to dart it with a tranquiliser but it managed to escape by taking the cover of the undergrowth," Neeraj told IANS.
The Forest Department has deployed two teams at the spot where the picture of the MDT23 tiger was captured but other teams are surrounding the Devan estate areas and other areas in Masinagudi, Singara, and Bospara which is the natural habitat of the animal.
The Forest Department has also advised the villagers living in Gudalur and in the fringes of the MTR that they should not venture into forest land for cattle grazing as the tiger is on the run and can reach that area on sighting cattle.
Police Department has also joined the operation to help patrol in villages adjacent to forest land and also to warn people against venturing into forest land for cattle grazing or to collect forest produce.
Six teams of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department and one team each from Kerala and Karnataka Forest Departments, along with sniffer dogs and kumki elephants, are on the search mission for the MDT23 tiger for the past 18 days but it remains elusive.
Following a petition filed by the animal rights group, People For Cattle in India (PFCI) that the tiger should not be killed, the Madras High Court had given a directive to tranquilise the animal and to capture it.