Hunt for terror tigress goes hi-tech, power paraglider to trace elusive big cat

Nagpur: Finding themselves totally helpless despite hard efforts to trace and eliminate the man-eater tigress called T1 roaming in jungles of Pandharkawda and Ralegaon tehsils in Yavatmal district, the officials of Forest Department have now decided to deploy powered paraglider to locate the big cat. The Forest Department has also pressed two Italian sniffer dogs for search of the elusive T1. To lead the search operation, renowned golfer and dog trainer Jyoti Randhawa from Delhi has been called for help.

According to sources, the two-seater paraglider, owned by Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, former national sharp-shooter, who is leading the tranquilising operation, reached Sakharkheda base camp from Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) S K Mishra said the paraglider will undertake aerial survey, identify the tigress and find its location. The paraglider will survey of water bodies, villages and movements of people nearby and communicate to the tranquilising teams on wireless. If given green signal then the teams would fire the dart at the tigress.

This precaution is being taken as it is the tendency of an animal after darting runs towards water to cool itself. The beast may attack if there is movement of people nearby. The menacing tigress recently killed two horses in jungles but the smart feline has not returned to its kill. The spot cameras too have failed to capture the T1. In this situation, the sniffer dogs could track the scent left behind by the tigress, Mishra said.

Over 200 Rangers deployed:

Since the past nine months, the Forest Department has launched a campaign to hunt the menacing tigress in jungles of Yavatmal district. A new search operation was started on September 22. It is learnt that the ferocious big cat has so far killed 13 people. To trace the elusive T1, over 200 Rangers have been deployed at vantage points. Meanwhile, the teams found no indirect evidences such as pug-marks, scat, camera trap pictures of the tigress that is moving along with her two cubs. Sporadic incidents of cattle kills are occurring by the tigress to satisfy hunger.