Tigress, which killed 2 in Kodagu, caught

Nine-year-old animal had injuries on its legs and was unable to hunt

Forest Department personnel in Karnataka on Sunday evening tracked and tranquillised a tigress that killed two persons in a span of 12 hours between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

While a 60 year-old woman, Chinni, was killed by the tigress in T. Shettigeri village close to Srimangala on Sunday morning, a 14 year-old boy, Ayyappa, was found killed by the animal on Saturday evening at Kumtur village in Ponnampet taluk.

Chenni’s killing took place within a distance of 2 km to 3 km from Saturday’s attack and hence the authorities suspected the involvement of the same tiger in both the cases. The woman was killed when she ventured out early in the morning to answer nature’s call. Panic gripped the local community following her killing.

Chief Conservator of Forests T. Hiralal said the focus was on capturing the striped cat alive as per the protocol and it was tracked by a battery of Forest Department personnel engaged in combing operation on Sunday evening.

The authorities constituted different groups and used four elephants in the combing operations. But one group identified pug marks and tracked it to the spot where it was finally located near Manchalli village and managed to dart the animal. The tigress was tranquillised about 1.5 km to 2 km from the spot where the boy was killed on Saturday evening.

The animal had pre-existing wounds on its right legs and was unable to hunt. The tigress – said to be aged around nine – was moved to a cage and a decision was taken to shift it to a rescue centre for observation. It appeared emaciated and it is speculated that the injury could have been caused in a territorial fight with another dominant tiger.

Some local people said both the deaths could have been avoided had the Forest Department responded to reports of recent cattle kills from the area.

While earlier in the day villagers had demanded that the big cat be put down, forest officials managed to convince them and capture the animal.

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