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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Man-eater was pushed out of its territory

Bangalore:, Aug 27, 2012, DHNS: The big cat, spotted at a waterhole in May, strayed into agricultural fields of HD Kote The tiger that was captured at HD Kote by the Forest department on Sunday, was aged, injured and pushed out of the forest by a dominating male, Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) has revealed. The big cat identified as NHT-222 was frequently camera-trapped since May 2005 in various parts of the tiger reserve, said a press release issued by Dr K Ullas Karanth, Director, CWS. “It was first photo-captured on May 6, 2005, when it was 3-4 years of age in Metikuppe range of Nagarahole. From these first sets of photos, we estimated him to be about 3-4 years of age at that time. He has been subsequently camera-trapped several times during our annual surveys. His last photo-capture was on December 26, 2011, during our current round of phase-IV monitoring conducted with the Forest department,” said Karanth. It strayed into fields He said that in May 2012, the animal was injured in the front right paw and had never recovered since then, and until recently, it was seen in agricultural fields. Subsequently, it raided cattle and killed a woman. “The Forest department patrols observed an injured tiger near Hosakere tank in Sunkadakatte area. We identified it as NHT-222. “It appears that this male tiger aged about 12 never recovered from its injury and has since been pushed out to the reserve fringes. “At the time of its capture, it had a severe injury on its front right paw. It also had discoloured and worn-out teeth, with broken canines,” Karanth said. Karanth said Nagarhole had a high density of tiger ranging between 10-12 animals per 100 sq km. According to studies conducted by CWS, about 22 per cent of the tiger population is lost every year due to mortality and outward dispersal. “NHT-222 has now become a part of this annual loss. However, because of a rich prey base, tigers are reproducing well in Nagarahole-Bandipur, with resident females producing large litters, easily making up for the annual losses,” he said.

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