Pudussery residents relieved after capture of tiger that gave them nightmares

  The tiger captured from a human habitat at Kuppadithara in Wayanad district on Saturday.

The tiger captured from a human habitat at Kuppadithara in Wayanad district on Saturday.
| Photo Credit: By special arrangement

A tiger that triggered panic among local residents in the Pudussery and Kuppadithara areas under the North and South Wayanad forest divisions respectively was captured from a human settlement on Saturday. The tiger, aged about 10 years, was sighted inside a plantain farm at Nadammal, near Kuppadithara, in the morning.

Forest officials said the same tiger had attacked a farmer at Puthussery on Thursday. South Wayanad forest divisional officer Shajna Kareem told mediapersons that the pug marks collected from both places were similar.

The officials began combing operations near the Pudussery river, where the pugmarks of the tiger were sighted on Friday evening. The animal was found in a plantain farm 5 km from Pudussery on Saturday morning.

Its capture has come as relief to the villagers.

A team of veterinarians, led by assistant forest veterinary surgeon Ajesh Mohandas (elephant squad), and members of a rapid response team led by N. Roopesh captured the animal by firing tranquillizer darts .

The animal tried to charge at the team members when the first dart was shot around 12.40 a.m. At 1 p.m., a booster dose was applied. Fifteen minutes later, the animal was found sedated and lying near a house around 1 km away. The darting operation was supervised by Narendra Babu, Conservator of Forest (Inspection and evaluation).

The operation lasted nearly two hours. The predator was shifted to the animal hospice and palliative care unit for big cats in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) for treatment in an animal ambulance . The animal would be kept under observation for the next 24 hours to identify any infection to its internal organs, sanctuary sources said.

In another incident, a calf was killed in a wildlife attack at Pilakkavu under the Mananthavady municipality limits on Saturday noon. Forest officials reached the spot and identified that the calf was killed by a tiger and collected the pug marks of the predator from the area.

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