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After a five-day long wait for the elusive tiger that is suspected to have killed an estate worker, two cows and a wild boar, the Forest Department has now pressed into service thermal imaging camera to track the big cat during nights.
After a plantation worker’s mutilated body was found on March 11, camera traps revealed the movement of a wounded tiger. Efforts to track the tiger and tranquilise it for treating and relocating have failed as the special teams, including that of gun-totting Special Task Force personnel could not spot the tiger. For the last two days, however, there were no fresh images from the camera traps disappointing the rescue teams further. But there were fresh pug marks. On Wednesday it killed another cow and hunted down a wild boar. Immediately, tree top machans were set up in Wood Briar Estate and Devarshola estate areas. Veterinarians equipped with darting guns are waiting at the tree top machans to tranquilise it. The thermal imaging camera has been brought in from Bangalore by Touchwood, an NGO. A representative of the NGO, Raj, said that the camera can sense movements even at a distance of 300 meters.
Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Srinivas R Reddy, Conservator of Forests – Coimbatore Circle I. Anwardeen, Gudalur DFO S.N. Tejaswi, Collector P. Sankar and Superintendent of Police – Murali Ramba frequently visited the camps. The Forest Department has also roped in the services of sniffer dog Rana.
Estate workers hit
For the fourth-day in succession, plantation workers remained indoors and public movement has been restricted from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Thousands of plantation workers in Wood Briar, Rock Wood and Devarshola Estates have not been able to turn up for work. They also fear denial of wages. District Revenue Officer Baskarapandian assured to talk to the workers and estate managements to hammer out a solution.
Tiger poisoned to death
The autopsy conducted on the carcass of the male tiger found dead at Wenlock Reserve Forest near Parson Vally in Nilgiris South division has confirmed that the animal has been poisoned. With intimation to National Tiger Conservation Authority, in the presence of WWF representative Boominathan nominated by the Forest Department, Veterinarian E. Vijayaraghavan conducted the autopsy on Wednesday morning.
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Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/thermal-imaging-cameras-to-track-the-elusive-tiger/article8363127.ece