Calcutta, Jan. 20: It was an oft-repeated tale with a happy end.
Another tiger strayed into human habitation on a Sunderbans island this morning but it was captured, shot to sleep and released back into the forest in the Chamta area by the Project Tiger authorities in South 24-Parganas.
Panic gripped Lahiripur village in the Gosaba area when the “full-grown male” entered their village swimming across the Bidya river. Bijon Bhattacharya , a Project Tiger official, said it was spotted by fishermen on the river even while it was swimming across.
This was the fourth incident of a tiger straying into a village in the past few months. On all the occasions but one, the animals were captured and released back into the forest without any injury. A Project Tiger team was forced to kill an animal in defence when it attacked Gopal Tanti, an expert in darting tigers.
On seeing the tiger, the villagers raised an alarm today. Sensing trouble, the tiger hid in the cowshed of Suren Laskar. Villagers armed with sticks cordoned it off.
The villagers, then, snared the animal in a fishing net. By this time, some of them had informed the Project Tiger office at Sajnekhali from where a team arrived armed with the tranquillising gun and stronger nets.
The tiger was darted to sleep. The stronger nets were thrown around the shed to make sure the animal could not escape even if the shot did not work. Then tiger was set free in the forest it came from.
Bhattacharya said the tigers stray out of the forest in search of easy game like cows and dogs. “The villagers have been encroaching their habitat . We have taken steps to keep away the tigers from human habitation but more need to be taken.”