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201225Nov12:07

Tiger in Rantham­bore turns into man-​eater because of a splin­ter in its paw

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pub­lished 25 Novem­ber 2012 | mod­i­fied 21 August 2013
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A male tiger that has been treated for its wounded paw caused by a barb splin­ter and thorns in 2009, has been killing peo­ple in Ranthamb­hore National Park since a few months. This man-​eater on the loose has killed three already.

Tiger T24 RanthamboreThe story is that the male tiger, iden­ti­fied as T-​24, became aggres­sive towards humans after a barb splin­ter and thorns were sur­gi­cally removed from his paw. This hap­pened in 2009, when T-​24 was tran­quil­lised to be oper­ated upon. Unfor­tu­nately, the tiger was under­dosed and woke up while peo­ple were still busy treat­ing the wound. This fright­ful and painful close encounter with humans must have turned him into a man-​eater. At least that is how the offi­cials explain the tiger’s man-​killing behav­iour.

It is said that soon after the inci­dent T-​24 became aggres­sive to humans, often snarling at tourists. Though he did not attack any peo­ple then, he sup­pos­edly killed his first human-​being in July 2010, a per­son who went into the jun­gle to col­lect fire­wood. It was not until April 2012 when another man was killed in the tiger’s ter­ri­tory, though it could not be estab­lished if T-​24 had done it. And just recently a forester with the depart­ment was killed by the tiger.

I sup­ply milk to houses and a few hotels in city. But now I avoid trav­el­ling after dark because of the tiger
Ladu Ram Gur­jar, a local »

As you may expect the local peo­ple are ter­ri­fied and have stopped trav­el­ling between sun­set and sun­rise, the usual tiger hunt­ing hours. It is expected that mea­sures will be taken to have the tiger removed from the park, because many times peo­ple sleep on rail­way sta­tion plat­forms in the region when trains are run­ning late and going home is not an option. One of the obvi­ous mea­sures is relo­cat­ing the tiger, espe­cially because there is no absolute proof* that the tiger killed peo­ple. Hope­fully they will not as in the old days kill the tiger, which requires the organ­i­sa­tion of a tiger hunt. Like in the days of Jim Cor­bett, the famous killer of man-​eating tigers and leop­ards in India, who described sev­eral occa­sions sim­i­lar to the above when he was asked by the local author­i­ties to hunt down a man-​eater. Cor­bett was con­vinced that tigers and leop­ards only become man-​eaters when they are injured, old or have bro­ken canines, and there­fore look for easy prey, such as humans. Killing a male tiger, which con­tributes valu­able genes to the nec­es­sary genet­i­cal diver­sity of the Endan­gered tiger*, should be the last resort.

Ranthamb­hore Tiger Reserve Jan­u­ary 2012
A 3 day research trip to Ranthamb­hore Tiger reserve (credit War­ren Pereira):

more videos from War­ren Pereira here

(Source: dai​lyb​haskar​.com, 25.11.2012; about​zoos​.info, Edward James (Jim) Cor­bett; *com­ments by War­ren Pereira, 21.08.2013)

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Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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