Tale of Two Tigers
by Samir K Sinha
I recall, it was the first week of January this year (2009) when myself with two of my colleagues from Wildlife Trust of India – Anil, a biologist and Anjan, a veterinarian were sent to Uttar Pradesh state of India to capture a strayed out tiger.
The tiger travelled more than 250 km from its origin in Pilibhit forest and took refuge in a small thorny Prosopis forest spread across about 10 km2 in Faizabad district of the state.
The strayed out tiger had crossed a vast stretch of human dominated agricultural landscape, always chased away by crowds and never got any chance to return to its home ground.
We were trying to restrain the tiger using trap cages with live goats as bait and a remote chemical immobilization technique from an elephant’s back as well.
However, the tiger did not give any fair chance. The tiger killed several cattle and unfortunately, three human beings too and was officially declared a “man-eater”.
Now professional shooters were also behind the tiger. We continued our effort to catch the tiger live, but ultimately the tiger was fired upon and killed.
Shockingly, the carcass riddled with the bullets of the shooter, was of a tigress in her prime!!!
I returned to my place, but my other two colleagues rushed to another part of the state, close to Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, where one male tiger was creating havoc after claiming a few human lives in the adjoining sugarcane fields.
The tiger was also legally declared a man-eater by the authorities. My colleagues got a short chance to restrain the tiger chemically (tranquillisers).
Anjan, the guy, I admire, did not miss the chance and fired the dart loaded with chemicals, which hit the tiger perfectly and the tiger could move hardly 200 m before being fully sedated.
I saw the video of Anjan carrying the sedated tiger on an elephant’s back through the thickets of high grasses, and Anil organizing transportation cages to transport the tiger to a safer place for further action.
Anjan, explained me the entire episode when I meet him in my office in October. It was quite satisfying – a prime male could be saved.
The tiger was shifted to a zoo at Lucknow (state capital of Uttar Pradesh), since the authorities did not find him suitable to rehabilitate back to the wild.
Last month, during my visit to Delhi, on a traffic signal, I saw a photograph of a tiger peeping through the bars of a cage on the cover page of a newspaper a hawker was waving near my car.
I opened the car window, purchased the newspaper and went through the story. It stated that the two and a half month old tiger, christened as Kishan, who was declared a man-eater and captured and brought to Lucknow zoo from Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary had been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels.
Chemotherapy is going on. I wish Kishan gets a healthy life, but experts feel that early death of Kishan suffering from the disease is probably inevitable.
Perhaps, the disease had turned Kishan man-eater?
Samir K Sinha
Hi Samir…Your article is very welcome. I converted it from a comment to a full article as it was too good to be a comment and you wrote it under the PoC Fair Deal scheme, which requires that it be an article.
Important: Please tell me where you would like the $100 (USD) sent to. It is well deserved.
PoC Fair Deal