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Tiger on the prowl near Lucknow

January 10, 2012 19:57 IST

Panic prevails in and around Rehman-Khera village, about 18 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, on account of a tiger that has been on the prowl in the area for the last five days. However, no human being has been attacked by the animal so far.

What led to the discovery of the feline in the neighbourhood of what is the famous mango belt of this region, were the clearly visible pugmarks noticed for the first time on Friday.

However, the confirmation came after wildlife officials got down to tracking the animal and found a half-devoured blue-bull on the sprawling campus of the central government-run Central Institute of Sub-Horticulture on Sunday.

"The kill was not fresh, suggesting that prey was killed at least three days earlier, which made it evident that the tiger had been on the prowl in the area for at least five days," chief wildlife conservator B K Patnail told rediff.com.

"We have now formed two special teams who would be joined by another one from the Wildlife Institute of India to track the tiger down so that we can trap it and pave its return to its natural home from where it has apparently strayed here," Patnaik added.

"I am confident that the task would not be difficult as the animal was localised in the green cover around the institute where we could get him either by laying a trap or by using tranquilisers," he added.

Meanwhile, yet another wildlife life expert G C Misra, a former director of Dudhwa National Park who went on the tiger trail to Rehman-Khera earlier during the day, said: "The straying of the tiger from the reserved forests in the Terai region speaks volumes of the increasing penetration of the human population in the natural home of the big cat."

This is the third time since December 2008 that tigers have strayed out of the wild to enter urban pockets, including the neighbourhood of Lucknow. In the past two incidents, both presumed man-eaters were gunned down in Faizabad and Lakhimpur-Kheri, after special wildlife teams failed to trap the animals in several months-long chase.
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow