Camera traps, cages placed to identify and capture the animal
A 56-year-old man died in a suspected tiger attack at an estate bordering the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Friday.
The man, identified as V. Chandran of Devan Estate, was said to have been grazing cattle inside the estate, when a tiger was believed to have attacked him. Mr. Chandran was rescued by residents and Forest Department staff and rushed to hospital.
He was stabilised and was referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Udhagamandalam, but died on the way.
It is unclear whether the tiger was attempting to lift cattle when it came across Mr. Chandran, or whether it had singled him out as prey.
Kommu Omkaram, District Forest Officer, Gudalur division, said the department had placed camera traps and cages to identify and capture the animal responsible for the attack.
Mr. Omkaram said that around ten cattle had been lifted from villages bordering Gudalur and MTR in the last few weeks, but it was not clear whether the same animal was involved in all these instances of cattle lifting.
The estate where the incident occurred was known for human-animal interactions, especially due to the presence of large number of cattle, local conservationists said. As the cow pens were located in close proximity to the tiger reserve, there was always a chance for such problematic interactions, they said.
Forest officials believe that the same tiger could have been responsible for the death of two other persons in the region in the last few months.
Venkatesan, Field Director of MTR, said four cages had been placed to capture the animal. Only after identifying the animal responsible for the death of Chandran, and verifying whether it was the same animal responsible for the death of the other two could a further decision be taken on the fate of the tiger, he said.
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