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Straying tiger killed in UP

February 25, 2009 01:54 IST

The stray tiger that had been on the prowl in parts of Uttar Pradesh for the last four months, was shot down on Tuesday evening.

The three-year old animal that had lost its way after stepping out of its natural home in the forests of Pilibhit on the Himalayan foothills , traversed across nearly five districts including Lucknow to finally met its end in the Bachuna forests near Kumarganj in Faizabad district.

The tiger was killed by Nawab Safahat Ali Khan, who had been specially invited all the way from Hyderabad to carry out the mission.

"We did our best to avoid killing the animal , but eventually  we were left with no choice but to shoot down the tiger, that had already killed five human beings and was declared  man-eater ", UP's chief wildlife warden B.K.Patnaik told this scribe.

"Khan is an expert shooter and is known for his skills in containing man-animal conflict in certain South Indian states ; that is why we sought his assistance , which has eventually borne fruit", said Patnaik .

The animal has been giving sleepless nights to UP wildlife officials ever since it wandered out of its natural habitat, and has been on the move across at least five districts of the state including Lucknow

Wildlife enthusiast and Uttaranchal State Wildlife Board member Kaushlendra Singh , who had moved a PIL before the High Court to prevent the killing of the tiger regards the shooting of the tiger as "highly unfortunate and illegal."

"The officials of the UP forest department need to be taken to task for the extremely shabby handling of the stray tiger , which could have been easily saved ; their manner of dealing with the tiger spoke volumes of the unprofessional approach of the 100-member operation team that had been working under the directions of  the state chief
wildlife warden", he said.

"The fact that the wildlife department chose to go ahead with its mission of shooting the tiger instead of making serious efforts to trap or tranqulise  it , shows  that  they have little respect even for the Hon'ble High Court for whose verdict they did not care to wait", he pointed out.

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow