Tiger T23 recovering – Animal rescue authorities.

Sarthak.S.Kain

The Tiger which was caught after 21-day operation is responding well to treatment, say the authorities.

Tiger T23 recovering - Animal rescue authorities.
The tiger had reportedly killed 13 cattle and 4 humans

The Tiger which was caught after 21-day operation is responding well to treatment, say the authorities.

Tamil Nadu: Tiger T23, who had reportedly killed 4 people and was caught after a 21 day long operation is recovering and is responding to treatment, the authorities have said.

The tiger was tranquilized and captured by the state forest department on October 15th near Masinagudi forest and is kept in Chamundi Animal rescue and rehabilitation centre at Koorgalli near Mysore zoo.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Tamil Nadu forest minister K. Ramachandran had said that the tiger is old and had sustained injuries possibly during territorial fights with other tigers. He added that next course of action will depend on examination of the tiger’s health and expert’s opinion.

In another interview with The Indian Express, Chief Wildlife warden Dr. Shekhar Kumar Niraj said the tiger was doing well and is recovering. “He ate around 6 kg of beef on Wednesday. The swelling on the front leg is slowly getting better and its wounds are healing. He was dull till 1 pm on Wednesday but that might have been due to the stress following confinement. He has been active since Wednesday afternoon as he was exposed to daykraal where he is able to move in an open area surrounded by trees and a green fence. The treatment has started and the antibiotics are working well. We are not thinking about any operation now,” he added.

Dr. Shekhar also said that injections are being administered through blow dart/jab sticks and no sedation or squeeze caging has been attempted as it may increase the stress. Before doing any such things the tiger had to completely recovered. “The Hemoglobin level has gone above 9 which is a good sign,” he further said.

The operation to catch the tiger T23 was started on late September when it killed more than 12 cattles and 3 people. After 6 days of operation, the triger had killed one more person, a shepherd and eaten him partially, after which on October 2nd, it was declared a man eater and orders were issued to hunt it down under section 11 (1) (a) of wildlife protection act, after residents of Masinagudi region had blocked the roads and refused to give the body for post-mortem in protest, demanding the animal to be hunted. However, a couple of days later, Madra high court ordered to catch the animal alive, acting on a PIL filed by an animal rights group stating that the animal might not be a man eater.  After this preparations to catch the tiger were made and included 60 forest officials divided into 5 teams, 5 doctors, 1 drone, 1 net gun, 1 pepper gun, 3 sniffer dogs, 7 tranquiliser guns etc.  Just like previous efforts, for 9 days the team was unable to catch the tiger showing the inefficacy of forest officials. The tiger was finally caught on the 10th day.

Timeline of T23 from forest to rehabilitation centre

On Tuesday, the tiger had behaved aggressively when a doctor had come to visit it. It had cut the iron grill mesh and broken one of its canines which was recorded and preserved.