Nagpur: The killer Bor tigress has now become a major threat to human lives and the news of killing keeps coming in. Now the tigress claimed another life for the fourth time in Bor Tiger Reserve in which it was released after being captured from Brahmapuri. The latest kill happened on Monday morning in Shahapur in Warud tehsil of Amravati.
The tigress’ latest victim Panotri Hiralal Nawade (55) was a resident of Chilara village in Multai tehsil in Betul district. She worked as caretaker in a farm and had gone to attend nature’s call early morning when the attack took place. A day before, the tigress had killed a cattle near Loni but was not allowed eat.
“Though the incident is unfortunate, I still believe the tigress has not chased the victim and must have attacked Panotri assuming her to be some animal after seeing her in crouched position,” said state’s chief wildlife warden AK Misra.
“There are no short-term solutions and we have intensified monitoring by pushing two elephants to monitor and capture the tigress. The teams are not able to tranquillize the tigress owing to hostile situations. We are keeping all options open and shooting the tigress would be the last one,” Misra added.
The two-year-old tigress (T27-C1) was captured on July 10 from Halda in Brahmapuri division after it had killed two persons and injured two others. In the last 14 days, the tigress had killed two persons and injured one.
After its release in Bor’s relocated Navargaon village, the tigress was not allowed to settle down by the resident tiger population and was pushed out. It had reached Dagha in Wardha division, where the forest staff pushed her out by bursting crackers to Ashti range.
Even as it tried to settle down in Ashti forest, the situation went haywire when a farmer Bhivaji Harle (58) from Wadali died after the tigress tried to kill a bull he was walking with on September 20. After 7 days it injured a farmer Surendra Padole, who was spraying pesticides on cotton crop in his farm.
Perturbed by the behaviour of the tigress, on September 21, PCCF (wildlife) had issued orders to tranquillise the tigress. The big cat has travelled at least 200km from Navargaon where it was released on July 29.
Sources said after the last attack on September 27 in Dhadi in Ashti, efforts to capture the tigress intensified and the big cat crossed Wardha river to reach Warud taluka 35km from Ashti area. Till filing of the report, the tigress was moving towards north of Warud perhaps towards MP.
Amid a PIL in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court against orders to shoot the tigress, the forest department is in a ‘Catch 22’ situation whether to issue orders to shoot the tigress or capture her.
Meanwhile, wildlife experts now feel the tigress should not have released in Bor. However, talking to TOI, state-level committee member Kundan Hate said, “The panel decided to give a chance to the tigress considering the report of Brahmapuri officials. Even after her release she avoided humans for 50 long days. Why she turned to be so irritating should be investigated.”
Another member and wildlife vet Dr AD Kholkute said, “The tigress was settling down in Dhaga area but crackers were bursted to push her out to another area. The monitoring teams too said it was avoiding humans. Then what went wrong? If it was creating problems, she should have been captured earlier.”
Even WII tiger scientist Bilal Habib says owing to the fragmented forest areas with human dominated landscape, the tigress could not settle down. “I still feel if some restrains is shown, the tigress will move to forest and settle down. Even if it has attacked humans she has not consumed their meat,” Habib said.