Fear grips Kannur village as a tiger remains at large

A screengrab from a video of the tiger in a rubber plantation taken by a resident of Adakkathode.

Kannur: Residents of Kelakam in Kannur district are scared to leave their homes as a tiger, which was spotted in the locality five days ago, remains at large. A prohibitory order issued on Sunday has been extended till Wednesday.

The tiger was spotted in the thickly populated Adakkathode ward of the Kelakam panchayat. A team of the Forest Department is camping in the region, but has not been able to tranquilize the animal due to dense vegetation.

“The local residents are living in fear. The current situation is causing problems for students who are taking their SSLC exams. The residents are even unable to come out of their houses,” said Thankamma Melekuttu, member of the Adakkathode ward.

Kelakam is a hilly region, where farming is the major occupation. It is cashew season, but the farmers are scared to visit the farms. “No one is able to go and collect cashew due to fear of the tiger. As it is summer, we are unable to water our crops. We need an immediate solution to this problem,” said a farmer in Adakkathode.

The tiger was first spotted at Rawuthar Colony by Shanavas, who was returning from the airport. As he could not take photographs of the animal, the presence of a tiger was only confirmed later after pugmarks were found in the region.

The tiger was also spotted at Kariyamkappu in the 6th ward and most recently around 4.45 am on Tuesday by a Forest Officer.

The Forest Department had installed eight cameras at various locations within the area to monitor the tiger movement. As the tiger had captured and eaten a dog, the department has set up three traps with two dogs and a goat as bait to lure the animal.

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