Gosaba, Dec. 1: Frequent visits by a Royal Bengal Tiger, an elaborate trap laid by the forest department guards to deter the unwanted visitor and, finally, a thief angling for the bait — a goat — getting caught before the tiger itself: villagers of Bali could not have hoped for more excitement over the past fortnight.
It all started with villagers complaining that they had sighted a tigress — with two cubs to boot — in the vicinity of their village. The family would swim back to the Pirkhali forest across Vidya river, they said.
Alerted, the forest department laid a traditional trap with a goat for bait a fortnight ago. A week later, the guards found that the trap had been sprung. But to their amazement, there was a man in the trap, instead of a tiger. The man, intent on stealing the goat, had stepped into the trap and remained inside for a whole night.
Finally, yesterday morning they found a full-grown tiger, but it was not the female that had been sighted. The tiger was taken to a remote part of the Sundarbans forest this morning and released, said Sundarbans Biosphere director A.K. Raha.