Pandharkawda maneater tigress T1 had a controversial death. She was a man-eater and forest officials did all they could to stop her from adding another body to her list. Eight months ago, the officials were successful as the tigress died at the hands of a veteran sharpshooter.
The tigress left two cubs, one of which has been captured 50 days after their mother’s death. Now, the officials are hunting for T1C1, the other cub, for a very long time.
The hunt continues for T1C1 at the large enclosure in the Pench Tiger Reserve. This makes it the longest operation they had in the country in catching a wild cat.
“We are still tracking him. But all his movements are at night when our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prohibits us from using a tranquilization shot. It is as if he got wind of our SOP restriction,” Maharashtra PCCF (Wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar told The Indian Express.
Officials claimed they have tried “all possible tricks” to capture the cub, but it seems to be avoiding all the traps they’ve laid on him.
A wide net was placed on the forest floor near a tree, where officials tied animals as bait. The net was hooked to the pulley so that when T1C1 walked on it, the net will close on him and trap him there. However, footage from the cameras show the cub perfectly avoided the net.
What made the operation more challenging was because T1C1 is no longer a cub, but is almost the size of a full-grown tiger at just 17 to 18 months.
According to The Indian Express, a team from Madhya Pradesh mounting on elephants had to retrieve from their operation after the cub allegedly lunged at the biggest elephant.
Officials rather are just thankful that unlike his mother, T1C1 hasn’t attacked any humans or cattle.
“During summers, cowherds don’t venture deep into the forest. So, there is not so much to worry about on that count,” Kokodkar said.