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Maneater caught, to be sent to zoo

The maneater of Mysore has been caught after being on the run for a week.

In a huge relief for forest dwellers and Karnataka’s wildlife department, the tiger that killed four persons over the past week was captured on Thursday, Ajai Mishra, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), confirmed.

Although forest officials were armed with shoot-at-sight orders, they darted the tiger in Chikkabargi in the Bandipur range, Mishra said. “It’s a fully grown male tiger,” he said, adding the animal has been kept caged in a transit area. “We would later shift it to a zoo and keep it there for life.”

There is no question of the tiger being released into the forest as he has turned a maneater.

Sanjay Gubbi, of the international tiger conservation group Panthera, said the tiger had been attacked by a porcupine. “There is a porcupine quill lodged in the mouth of the tiger. It can be seen lodged into the left jaw. This is perhaps why it couldn’t hunt and hence turned on humans,” he told The Telegraph.

The tiger, which had been prowling a vast area around 250km from Bangalore towards Coorg, had spread panic in parts of the Bandipur range after it killed three local men in forests that straddle the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarhole in the Mysore administrative region. A forest watcher was also found dead.

The metal cage is lifted on to a trailer to be carted to a transit area, where the tiger will be kept for some time to allow it to recover from the trauma of being captured and caged. “It should be fine after a couple of days’ isolation and feeding,” Mishra said. (Bangalore News Photos)

At first look, the tiger appears to be between eight and nine years old. “But we’ll know the exact age after a thorough medical examination,” Mishra said.

The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the families of those killed by the tiger.

Our Special Correspondent