Aged tiger has unique stripes pattern, says official

The Forest Department involved in an operation to capture tiger T23 in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) is faced with a fresh challenge. As the reserve has a good tiger population, the teams are treading cautiously to avoid a mix-up in zeroing-in on the exact carnivore involved in the suspected killing of four persons.
Expert teams study the unique features of the T23 tiger with its photograph at MTR on Sunday
Expert teams study the unique features of the T23 tiger with its photograph at MTR on Sunday


“The T23 tiger has injuries at a few spots on its face. Photographs have also been shared with teams involved in the operation to identify the tiger with its unique stripes pattern,” said an official.
Meanwhile, two kumki’s from Theppakadu Elephant Camp have again joined the operations in tracking the tiger. “The plan is to facilitate veterinarians seated on the kumki to safely dart the tiger with tranquilizer. A few more kumkis may also be engaged, if necessity arises,” the official added.
One more sniffer dog, trained by the Karnataka Forest Department, has come to assist the operation in addition to a sniffer dog belonging to the Gudalur Forest Division. More drones were also utilised to spot the tiger.
Despite such mammoth efforts for the ninth consecutive day, the tiger continued to remain untraceable. “The animal was not found either in camera traps or through direct sightings over the last two days. This despite multiple teams carrying out surveillance for up to six km in the forest cover on Sunday alone. The operations will continue again on Monday,” said MTR Field Director D Venkatesh.
Bhosale Sachin Thukkaram, Deputy Director of MTR (Core Area), said that the department has increased the area of search in both Masinagudi and Singara to locate the animal. Officials believe that the tiger may not have relocated its base and could be in hiding due to the search operations.
“The tiger may be aged and weak. Hence, all its targets tend to be cows grazing along the forest boundary, while it didn’t prey on the buffaloes that are stronger,” claimed officials.

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