GUWAHATI, Sept 1 - She is invisible during the day. When darkness prevails, the amber-eyed predator stalks the human habitats of Borobazar area in search of her kill, and one after another she has devoured over 40 of them in the last 10 months. Since November last year, she has made a 6 sq km area � dotted with human settlements and patchy woods � in the vicinity of Orang National Park her mainstay and has refused to return to her place of nativity.
On Monday last, a team of veterinarians, forest officials and NGO members began yet another operation to capture �CF-3� � the code name given to the adult tigress that had strayed out of Orang National Park last year and had made the Borobazar area of Udalguri her home.
Orang DFO Ramesh Gogoi said several attempts have been made to capture her and this is the eleventh one.
Wildlife Trust of India�s head veterinarian Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, a member of the capture team, said the tigress was first sighted when she had preyed on a cow in the first week of November last year. �Even last night she killed a pig and took it away. We are trying to trace if there are any remnants of the prey left, so that we can lure the animal with it to a place where we can tranquilize it,� Dr Choudhury said.
Forest officials suspect the tigress had lost its territory to another feline at Orang � a park which has the highest density of tigers in the country. Tigers are territorial animals that prefer to mark their territories and then guard them very fiercely.
�Thereafter it settled at Borobazar. It is getting cover, safety, water, food everything here. There are small patches of woods in the area where it apparently takes refuge during the day. It moves around in a core area of about 6 sq km. We have prepared a map of her territory using GPS and have made our blueprint to capture it accordingly,� said Dhansiri division DFO Madhurjya Sarma who is overseeing the operation.
Two elephants, two doctors and over 20 forest staff equipped with night vision cameras have been engaged in the operation. Ten cameras are being installed on a specific route which the tigress takes in a bid to trace its movement. The doctors have stationed in the village itself for the operation, in case there is a need to act swiftly.
�We tried using live baits. But it has not worked. This time we are planning to lure the animal with its own kill. Once we can get a portion of its kill, we will bring it to a suitable location and leave a trail of blood to lure the tigress. If we can lure it this way, we hope to tranquilize and capture it. We cannot use vehicles given the terrain and so we are using the elephants,� the DFO said.
Though the tigress had killed over 40 livestock so far, it has not harmed humans.
Forest officials have not taken a call on relocating the animal after its capture. �Normally, we ought to release it to its original habitat. But in this case, she might return to Borobazar. So we will decide that later,� a forest official said.