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Chandrapur: 2 killed in animal attacks, elusive Rajura tiger spotted after five days

One of the victims, Umaji Kusan Maske, was in his mid-60s and a resident of Halda village in South Brahmapuri range of Chandrapur district. He had gone missing on Wednesday, and his body was found in the forest on Thursday.

TWO persons lost their lives in wildlife attacks in Chandrapur district on Wednesday. While one attack was by a tiger, the other one was by a wild boar.

One of the victims, Umaji Kusan Maske, was in his mid-60s and a resident of Halda village in South Brahmapuri range of Chandrapur district. He had gone missing on Wednesday, and his body was found in the forest on Thursday.

Chandrapur Chief Conservator of Forest N R Praveen said the man was killed by a tiger as pugmarks were found at the spot. “There is presence of a tigress and her three sub-adult cubs in the area,” he said.

The other incident took place in the core area of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), where a shephard was killed in a wild boar attack. “The man, Shatrughna Dharma Gedam, 55, from Bembla village outside the core area, went missing on Wednesday. His body was found in the core area on Thursday. He was found to have been killed by a wild boar,” said TATR Field Director Jitendra Ramgaokar.

With this, the number of human deaths in wildlife attacks this year in the state has gone up to 60, the highest till date. Of these 60 deaths, 33 have been caused by tigers.

The earlier highest deaths in wildlife attacks — 56 – was recorded in 2016.

This month has, so far, recorded four deaths, two by tigers, once by a leopard and one by a wild boar, all in Chandrapur district.

Meanwhile, the elusive Rajura tiger RT1, which has killed eight persons and injured three since January 2019, was located by the tracking teams in Rajura range after a gap of about five days. The tiger, which is being tracked for capture by Forest Department teams since the past 290 days, had claimed its last victim in Rajura range on October 8.

Since then, the clamour to shoot it has been growing. Chandrapur Congress MP Suresh Dhanorkar, Rajura Congress MLA Sanjay Dhote and two former MLAs Waman Chatap and Sudarshan Nimkar have demanded that the tiger be shot dead.

Deputy Conservator of Forest Arvind Mundhe said, “We got RT1’s trap camera pictures on Thursday morning. It had not been located since the past five days, which was a matter of concern.”

After its four tracking teams failed to capture the tiger, the Forest department is now trying to trap the animal using a net spread over certain places it is known to frequent. “The idea is to catch it by wrapping the net up as it would walk into the spot,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Nitin Kakodkar.

Earlier, the net trick was unsuccessfully deployed to catch the elusive male cub of Pandharkawda tigress T1 (Avni). “This time, however, it’s being done differently,” said Kakodkar.

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