An aging tiger that had turned a man-eater in the Bandipur-Nagarahole reserve area killing three people in the past week was captured on Thursday afternoon in a joint operation by forest and police officials near Chikkabargi village in HD Kote taluk of Mysore district.
Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) H C Kantharaj said the tiger was shifted to Mysore Zoo by evening, where it would be rehabilitated.
The joint police and forest team that began looking for the tiger Wednesday caught it near the Karekatte forest area. One of the three tranquilizing darts forest department veterinarian Sanath, who was astride the elephant Kanthi, fired hit the animal and it collapsed after walking a few metres.
The forest staff then caught the tiger in a net and locked it in a cage. After treatment, the big cat was shifted to Mysore Zoo.
The tiger, which is in the outer spectrum of its lifespan of around 29 years, is suspected to have mauled to death three people in Chikkabargi and neighbouring villages between November 27 and December 3.
A forest department employee who died in the past week after being mauled by a tiger was probably not attacked by the one captured Thursday.
Sources said the captured tiger had several injuries, possibly suffered in fights with other wild animals. Doctors are treating the big cat in the zoo.
More than 50 personnel from the forest and police departments were involved in the operation to capture the man-eater that began at 10 am on Wednesday. Three Mysore Dasara elephants were used for the operation. They sighted the tiger around 500 metres from a place where cattle gazer Basappa had been mauled to death on Tuesday evening. The forest department had Wednesday issued orders to trap or shoot the animal.
When forest officials brought the tiger to Chikkabargi to take it to Mysore, people from surrounding villages who had rushed there demanded that the big cat be killed before them.
The villagers said the tiger, if released back into the wild, might return and kill more people. The officials assured the locals that the tiger would be rehabilitated in Mysore Zoo. Though the villagers remained unconvinced, police and forest officials managed to move the tiger out of the village.