Forest dept sets up cage to capture cattle-hunting tiger in Wayanad

Cage trap set by forest department. Photo: Screengrab/ Manorama News

Sulthan Bathery: The forest department has put a cage trap in farmland at Edakkad-Manthadam area here as a tiger on the prowl continued to trigger panic among the residents here as it attacked cattle. Roaming in the area for the last few days, the wild animal lifted a couple of cattle and the last of the series was the attack on a 3-year-old milching cow on Thursday evening. 

Widespread protests erupted in the region after the cow owned by Thekkepunnappillil Varghese, a native of Manthadam, was attacked and killed. Though the forest department took the cow's body for a postmortem on Friday morning, the local people did not allow the forest department personnel to bury the carcass. 

Leaving forest staff on their toes, the problem animal ventured into the same area on Friday to take away the carcass in the presence of irate farmers and media personnel who were there to cover the protest. When the few forest staff who were present at the spot raised much hue and cry, the animal ran off leaving the carcass. The forest department also put three cameras on the spot to track the movements of the tiger. The wild animal had devoured a small portion of the cow on Thursday night itself. As the animal was roaming in the area to devour the remnants of the cow, the forest department set the cage at the spot and put the remnants of the kill in the cage itself. A team of forest personnel also were deployed for surveillance in the area. 

Irulam Deputy Range Officer Abdul Gafoor who is leading the team, told Onamanorama that the animal would be in a trap at any time as it would step in to devour the remnants. "The animal is too weak and still roaming in the area as it was unable to hunt down other animals in the jungle", he said.
Edakkad near Kenichira is in Poothadi panchayath under the Irulam forest station of South Wayanad Forest Division. 

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