BELGAUM: The forest department on Wednesday issued shoot-at-sight orders to put an end to the maneater menacing Bandipur and Nagarahole ranges. It mauled four persons in this region in the past week.
Forests minister B Ramanath Rai told the council that forest and police personnel have launched a hunt for the tiger. “Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and forest secretary are camping in Bandipur area to assess the situation. The department has ordered that the tiger be shot at sight,” he said.
When the minister said the department was trying to net it as environmentalists would raise objections, JD(S) member MC Nanaiah said the House was supreme, and not the activists. “Is the government going by what activists say or legislators when people are being killed? If there is more than one tiger, both should be shot dead,” he said.
Basappa, 55, was mauled to death at Chikkabargi village of Mysore district on the fringes of the Bandipur tiger sanctuary on Tuesday. It comes close on the heels of the death of two tribals at Nadgur and Seegehaadi villages, and a forest watcher in Nagarahole National Park.
Ramachandra Gowda (BJP) sought to know whether tiger conservation meant killing people. He and Sandesh Nagaraj (JD-S) also demanded that the tiger be shot dead.
Rai said the police and forest personnel had unsuccessfully fired 70 rounds of fire. “Officials launched a search operation with the help of elephants, and 50 Tiger Protection Force men have been deployed. An officer from Bannerghatta forest has also been pressed into service,” he said.
Expressing doubts that there could be more than one maneater, the minister said tranquilizers were fired thrice, but were unsuccessful.