A tiger numbered T-104 from the Ranthambore reserve killed his third human prey, a 30-year-old man, asleep in his farmland-hut in the Karauli district on Wednesday night. Authorities are now faced with the task of capturing and relocating it to a place where it poses less danger to human lives.
A villager said Pintu Mali was in his sleep inside a hut when attacked by the tiger. “It dragged the body inside the forest. When we found out, we raised an alarm” the villager said, adding, the forest officials were informed in the morning.
The body was recovered a few metres from the man’s house on Thursday morning at around 10 am and was handed over to the family after the postmortem, said, forest officials.
Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden Arindam Tomar said teams from Jaipur and Kota were being sent to tranquilize and catch the tiger.
A 100-member team led by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) and Ranthambore deputy director Hemant Singh had tracked T-104 for 11 days through ravines, degraded forest and irrigated fields last month after it killed a 40-year-old man near Karauli- its second prey. The tiger’s other human victim was a woman who had stepped out to answer the nature’s call.
Singh’s team tranquilised T-104 on August 12, fitted it with a GPS collar, which helps monitor movement better than its VHF (very high frequency) equivalents, and sent it to the Balas Dang area, which has no competing tiger.
Mali’s killing now proves that the tiger has strayed again.
A conservationist said since the tiger had killed three humans and eaten human parts, it was a threat to people in areas surrounding its habitat. At the same time, the tiger also faced a threat from humans, who may kill it, he said requesting anonymity.
Three killings have put the forest department in a quandary about where to relocate T-104 after it is tranquilized this time. It cannot be sent back to Ranthambore where it was injured by a more dominant male, T-64, in a territorial fight in May this year.
Tomar said action as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines will be taken after it is held captive. “A committee comprising department officials, village heads, experts etc will decide the tiger’s fate,” he said.
In 2015, the wildlife department had declared another tiger, numbered T-24, a man-eater and put it in a zoo in Udaipur leading to an uproar by wildlife activists.