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Prathipadu: Farmers jittery as Bengal Tiger spotted in fields
- Accuse forest dept of not taking concrete steps to capture the big cat
- Forest dept officials assure that it will be captured within two days
- Farmers say they are ready to trap the tiger if officials fail
Prathipadu(Kakinada District): Farmers are getting ready to drive the stranded Royal Bengal tiger from their fields by themselves. Forest officials have not in tranquilised or captured the Bengal tiger yet, which is stranded in the fields for the past two weeks in Prathipadu mandal of Kakinada district.
As the forest officials cautioned the villagers and farmers not to stir out from their houses, all of them have abstained from coming out for the last 15 days. The farmers are engaged in the cultivation of casuarina plantation, paddy and vegetables. As they have stopped coming out from their houses and working in the fields, they feel that their investment on agriculture will suffer a loss and are worried about it. The farmers as well as political leaders have issued an ultimatum for the forest officials of one week to catch the tiger. If they can't trap the Bengal tiger within the stipulated time, they themselves will plunge into action for trapping the tiger. As the kharif season has already commenced, farmers are worried and agitated as they can't participate in the agricultural operation due to the doubtful presence of Bengal tiger.
According to sources, farmers are challenging the forest officials regarding their efficiency and capability in trapping Bengal tiger. But the forest officials have not accepted their challenge as the tiger should be trapped as per the guidelines of the NTCA.
Meanwhile, the forest officials have made arrangements including cages, nets and tranquilisers to trap animal. In order to assist them a special team from Nagarjunasagar- Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) has)has arrived on the scene with full equipment. The team with rescue vans, nets and tranquilisers went into the forest compartments where the big cat was spotted a day before at Prathipadu territory. They are assuring that they are determined to catch the Bengal tiger at any cost. The forest officials have arranged cages with meat kept inside as well as a live calf. And they have also infused confidence among the people. The Bengal tiger weighs more than 250 kg.
In view of the advent of the rainy season the tiger is likely to fall ill and the authorities should be able assess the condition of the tiger also. Moreover, this happens to be the mating season of the Bengal tiger, forest officials are questioning what steps they are taking to attract the tiger. They are also questioning where they would relocate the tiger if they catch and trap it. Another perplexing question is that in the event of relocating the male tiger in the vicinity of Papikonda National Park (PNP) another problem arises in view of the presence of one more adult male tiger. They contend that two male tigers can't co-adjust and may pose a threat to inhabitants nearby. Again, they have looked after the health condition of the two male tigers. Officials should also reckon these factors into consideration and speed up the process of search operation.
Speaking to The Hans India ' District Forest Officer (DFO) IKV Raju said that they are strongly determined and committed to catch and trap the Bengal tiger in a day or two and assured the public that his officials would trap it at the earliest. He said that nine experts have arrived from Nagarjuasagar to participate in the search operation. He asked the people not to get frightened but be confident and they are involved in the search operation following the guidelines of NTCA.