Published On: Fri, Jan 31st, 2014

Unscientific methodology gives Bijnore man-eater a free run

Lucknow: Are the decision makers in the Uttar Pradesh forest department really serious of nabbing the errant man-eating tigress that had created a reign of terror in the Western districts of Sambhal and Bijnore. Going by the unscientific methodology they all are pursuing, it appears a “big no” because the idea of tying a live bait in the box-trap  is a clear indication of the same.

Since the bait is live, chances of trapping the errant tigress was literally impossible

Since the bait is live, chances of trapping the errant tigress was literally impossible

Wildlife experts are virtually perplexed at the decision of the UP forest department that has been trying to trap the errant tigress in a box-trap using a live bait. “They are either ignorant or are nincompoops as a live would bait would always act as an alarm for the feline because on sighting a tiger it would attempt to escape from the box-trap and in the process will strike against the iron bars of the box-trap, producing metallic clangs which certainly would deter the animal from going near the box-trap, what to talk of entering it,” said Dr Rakesh Tomar, an experienced wildlife expert who in the past had been a witness to a few of such operations in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Dr Tomar said, in the past tigers were successfully caught in box-traps when the bait was the same half-eaten animal that was earlier killed by the same tiger outside the cage.

Detailing the process, he said that to start with the bait is tied outside the cage so that the tiger gets familiarised wih the presence of the box trap in the area and does not get scared by an unusual type of structure. With the bait tied in vicinity, the tiger comes uninhibited and makes the kill and devours it at leisure. Once the tiger leaves the bait, the same half-eaten bait is transferred into the box-trap and the trap is made functional to catch the tiger, explained the expert.

He said that in case of the Bijnore man-eating tigress, since the bait is live, chances of trapping the errant tigress was literally impossible.

Another notable faux paus is the presence of three tiger hunters in the area who all have the necessary licence to kill the man-eating tigress. These hunters are criss-crossing the area where ever the tigress was last reported, either by a four-wheeler or on elephant’s back. “Such activities only adds to confusion as the tigress is virtually chased away to newer areas,” said experts who firmly believe that the forest department has to first decide whether to catch it alive or to destroy it because both of the actions cannot be simultaneously undertaken.

Experts believe that success can only be achieved when the efforts are first made to localise the tigress by periodically tying the bait. And then the call has to be taken to either trap it alive or to get it destroyed.

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