NAGPUR: Chased by a hunter and having a radio collar that constantly gave away its location, the problem tigress of Brahmapuri not only dodged death but also covered an astonishing 500 kms since its release in Bor Tiger Reserve.
In the 76 days since its release on July 29 it traversed through fields and forests, streams and hillocks, marshy patches and tall grasses, negotiated several roads, and crossed the busy 4-lane NH6 twice, only to now return to Bor. During these days it is believed to have survived mostly on cattle and small prey, and also made two human kills. It was tracked all through by a team of foresters. In later days, the team included an experienced hunter with an order to kill it.
Unknown to it, its future is being argued in high court here, its fate very much in balance with a verdict expected on Thursday. One thing is clear, the remarkable odyssey of the young tigress through central Indian landscape will be its last. After its human kills, it faces death by bullets or a life in captivity.
The exercise to monitor was perhaps the biggest in the country for a problem tigress. It is still going on. The tigress was captured on July 10 from South Brahmapuri because it was prone to attacking human beings. It was released in a patch of Bor that had no other tigers on July 29 in fond hope it would find enough prey not to kill humans and make the forest its home.
A few days after its release in relocated Navargaon village in Bor, the restless tigress moved out. Tigers are long-ranging animals known to travel hundreds of kilometres. But maybe owing to destruction of corridors or poor prey base in areas it went to, the T27-C1 as it is technically named, returned to Bor.