Udhagamandalam: Finally, the elusive man-eating tiger has been trapped in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu after being twice hit by tranquilizer darts in the last 14 hours, forest officials said on Friday.
The tiger had been a menace to villagers in Gudalur and Masinagudi after it killed four people, the most recent being an 85-year-old man, and also over 20 head of cattle and goats, said the officials who were trying to trap it since September 25.
Upon being informed about its location on Thursday, the officials said they and a medical team went to the Masinagudi-Theppakkadu Road and successfully hit the tranquilizer dart on the tiger at 10 PM. Yet, it gave them the slip.
Then, a group of 50 officials went to the spot, saw the animal in a bush at Kootupara, and used another tranquilizer dart that reached home.
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After ensuring the tiger was unconscious, the officials said they caged it and are now awaiting instructions for further action.
Nearly 100 people, including a few from Kerala and Karnataka, along with two tamed elephants and three sniffer dogs, were involved in the operation to trap the man-eater.
Though there were reports of forest officials receiving orders to shoot the tiger, code-named T23, wildlife activists approached the Madras High Court which directed the officials to trap the animal without killing it.
The court, passing interim orders on a petition last week praying for a direction to ensure that the tiger is captured alive and no steps were taken to put it to sleep or otherwise kill it, asked the officials to see to it that few people enter the forest to capture the big cat.