But this time, capturing may not be the answer, say experts
The Department of Forests has set traps to capture the third tiger in Bandipur since December last, fearing that the animal might attack people.
The tiger has killed eight cattle in four months and tried to attack a shepherd earlier this week near N. Begur range, said H.C. Kantharaju, director, Bandipur tiger reserve. The tiger would not be released back in the wild, and would most likely be sent to the Bannerghatta zoo when caught, he added. Camera trap data had revealed that the tiger was a 10-year-old male, he said.
While vets on elephant back failed to find or tranquilise the animal for the third day on Saturday, three cage traps with baits had been placed at Kalasur village, he said.
Last December, a tiger in Bandipur that had killed three persons in H.D. Kote taluk was tranquilised and sent to the Mysore zoo. A month later, another injured tiger in Bandipur was captured and shifted to the Bannerghatta zoo after it killed a man in Gundlupet taluk.
While tigers involved in human deaths must necessarily be removed, capturing big cats — whether leopards or tigers — that attack cattle could aggravate the problem, said wildlife ecologists.
“If a tiger is a confirmed man-eater, it should, in my opinion, be shot. But not every animal that comes out or attacks livestock need to be trapped. How many will you keep in captivity?” said Ullas Karanth, director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society.
Vidya Athreya, a wildlife biologist who studies human-leopard conflict in Maharashtra, said that if a big cat’s attack on humans was not “purposeful,” it should be left alone. “We need a biologist to first verify the situation independently before decisions are taken hastily,” he said.