By D. Radhakrishnan
Nearly 300 personnel, including snipers and Special Task Force, were on the look out for the elusive tiger that killed three people early this month. Residents of Kappachi, a short distance away from Kundahchappai, woke up on Monday to the news that the tigress had killed a cow in their village.
Having eluded a strongly-armed contingent of forests and police personnel at Kundahchappai since January 8, the carnivore that killed three persons was spotted by a school boy on Sunday evening at Thummanhatty, where a night-long vigil failed to produce any result.
R. Sevanan, a dairy farmer whose cow was killed, told The Hindu that the cow shed was located just below the main road of the village and during the small hours of the day the animal had smashed the door, chased the cow and killed it. People nearby heard the commotion.
District Forest Officer B. Sugirtharaj Koilpillai said the manner in which the animal killed the cow indicated that the predator was strong. It had dragged the carcass, presumed to weigh about 200 kg, into a tree-covered area nearby and eaten a part of it.
Team moves to Kappachi
A member of the operations squad said that the team had moved into Kappachi.
Expressing concern over the delay in capturing the carnivore, the villagers said that they were planning to seek the intervention of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who is now in Kothagiri. It should be shot after being declared a man-eater, they said.
Wildlife organisations’ volunteers, who have been assisting the officials, said though there were Standard Operating Procedures, the authorities concerned could take decisions that suited the situation on the ground.
R. Badhri, district secretary of the CPI(M), said his party supporters and affected villagers would stage a demonstration at Charing Cross here on January 25 over the delay in capturing the animal.