CT1: Indian tiger with ’15-17 lives’ housed after extensive operation ‘worth Rs. 2.50 crore’

CT1, an Indian Tiger mutating the most lives in a year, has been successfully captured by the Maharashtra forest department in Ekalpur village in the Wadsa range of Gadchiroli district on Thursday after a nine-month extensive hunt. According to government officials, a given estimate, the department must have spent not less than Rs. 2.50 crore on the entire operation, including human and cattle kill compensation, logistics and expenses on rescue work.

The first order to incarcerate the tiger was issued in February 2022. Although tranquillizing is not permitted after sunset as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines, CT1 was darted around 4.30 am on Thursday following mounting pressure from villagers and politicians. As per reports, the tiger was tranquillized when it approached a bait (male buffalo) that it had killed on Wednesday evening.

A forest officials informed The Quotes that CT1 had claimed 15-17 people in the last ten months. On request of anonymity, one of the officers who were part of the team which housed CT1 informed me that there was a lot of pressure from local politicians.

“The anger among the villagers was increasing, and the local politicians were feeling the heat. Though we captured them after tranquillizing CT1, we had the orders even to kill him. The male tiger was one of the most dangerous ones. No other tiger has mutated so many lives in less than a year,” the Forest Department official told The Quotes.

Reportedly, Armoury MLA Krishna Gajbe had urged forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to ask PCCF (wildlife) to issue shoot orders for CTI on Wednesday. PCCF (wildlife) Mahip Gupta informed that the first order to capture CT1 was issued in February. “Since then, our officials have been after it. The task became very difficult as the tiger covered a territory spread across Bhandara, Chandrapur, Bramapuri and Wadsa forest divisions.

As per a report published in Times of India, Gupte claims that his team got into action in the last four days after three humans were reportedly killed in adjoining Armoury and Wadsa ranges in Gadchiroli in four days (October 8 to 11). We deployed three Rapid Rescue Teams from Melghat, Navegaon Nagzira and Tadoba tiger reserves. All-terrain vehicle, real time monitoring system, trap nets, aluminium machans and bunker cases were so put in place,” Gupte said.

Reports stated that CT1 had killed two cattle heads on Sunday and Wednesday near Valumata Breeding Center run by the animal husbandry department in Desaiganj. Mr Gupte further informed Times of India that his team chalked out a plan and posted sharp shooter Ajay Marathe on a machhan atop a tree. But as CT1 did not arrive on the cattlefield, an alternative plan was to lure it with a male buffalo as bate readied. It worked as CT1 killed the buffalo,” said Mankar.

Despite CT1 being housed after the rigorous hunt, villagers in Armori and Wadsa districts claimed that other tigers are roaming around freely and will still work in fear.

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