A four-year-old tigress who had taken refuge in an abandoned rubber factory after venturing out of the Kishanpur sanctuary last year has been captured, officials said on Saturday.
“Sharmili” was captured around 11 a.m. on Friday during a mega rescue operation that lasted about 30 hours, they said.
The big cat had entered the premises of the now defunct rubber factory about 15 months ago after leaving Kishanpur shrine in Lakhimpur Kheri district on March 11, 2020, officials added.
Bareilly Chief Forest Conservator Lalit Verma said ‘Sharmili’ is a highly intelligent tigress who managed to evade being spotted by no less than 39 cameras following her.
She was cornered on Thursday after five failed rescue attempts, he said.
“The sixth rescue attempt began 15 days ago with 39 cameras monitoring the 1,400-acre rubber factory. Early Thursday, the tigress was seen sitting in an empty tank near Chunaa Kothi. The diameter of the tank was 10 meters, while its height was 25 When the tigress did not come to the bait placed on a net, the tank was cut off and she was tranquilized,” Verma said.
She is 11 feet tall and weighs 150 kg. About 125 people and two medics were involved in the rescue operation, the official said.
Experts from Dehradun’s Wildlife Institute of India, Kanpur Zoological Garden and officials from UP Forest Department, WWF, Delhi, Dudhwa National Park and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve were part of the operation.
A video of the freed animal has also made its way online.
What do you think of the rescue?