Even after 10 days, tiger still elusive

The tenth day of the operation to trap tiger MDT 23 at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve continued without much success, as the tiger managed to evade forest trackers yet again on Tuesday.

The Forest Department was confident that they had zeroed in on the location of the tiger near Sigur Road in Masinagudi on Tuesday. Forest staff, dressed in protective gear, entered the region, and began combing operations, as a tiger, believed to be MDT 23, was spotted in the area late Monday. However, despite a thorough search, the tiger could not be located.

Forest teams then combed the surrounding areas and found a fresh cattle kill near Singara by a tiger. They said they did not know whether the cattle had been killed by MDT 23 or another tiger inhabiting the area. The tiger has not been captured on any camera traps set up in the area since Saturday.

Working with conservationists and experts, the Department has also retrieved data about the movement patterns of MDT 23. They said they would study the data and concentrate their efforts on locating the animal within its home range.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening, deputy director of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (buffer zone) P. Arunkumar said five temporary perches had been set up on tree tops in Singara, where the cow was killed. He said veterinarians would be posted on the perches on Wednesday morning.

Five veterinarians are part of the efforts to tranquilise the animal, with two more expected to join soon. The operation to track the tiger will continue on Wednesday.

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