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Camera shoots big cat in Lalgarh, cage-traps installed

Kolkata: The state forest department officials on Saturday placed two cage-traps with baits at Madhupur forest in Lalgarh to capture the tiger which was caught in the hidden camera on early Friday morning.
According to the forest department officials, the sighting of a tiger in Lalgarh forest was not a usual incident.
Hidden cameras inside the forest — a 50 sq km patch in Jhargram district — captured the full-grown male at 4.28 am on Friday. Another hidden camera caught the photographs of the tiger at 6.15 am. The sighting of the tiger in the area is a rare incident, the forest official maintained.
Initially, the forest department officials thought that it could be a hoax but pugmarks found in the forest reconfirmed that it was a full-grown tiger. Villagers in Lalgarh had recently alleged that at least a dozen cows, calves and goats had gone missing or their corpses have been found near the forest over the past few months.
Five pairs of cameras were put up on tree trunks and other strategic locations inside the core forest area. A few more were installed late on. The incident occurred after some villagers saw pugmarks and alerted the local administration. Wildlife experts examined the marks and pictures were sent to the city for examination. In the beginning, the forest department officials suspected a hyena or a leopard but later it was found to be a full-grown tiger.
After the confirmation, officials of Sunderban Tiger Reserve on Saturday rushed to the spot where the animal was traced and placed two cage traps with baits within a distance of one km at Madhupur forest. Throughout the day the forest officials made elaborate arrangements and placed camouflaged cages brought from the Sunderbans to capture the tiger. A certain type of plant which attracts tigers by its smell was also planted inside the cages. The Forest department officials are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for the tiger to approach the cage to catch its prey.
Forest officials are also investigating if the tiger has come from the nearest habitat at Odisha's Simlipal National Park, which is more than 200 km away from Lalgarh.
Forest officials in Bengal will coordinate with their counterparts in Odisha to check if it has actually travelled such a distance.
It may be mentioned that a tiger was spotted at Kalimpong's Neora Valley National Park in North Bengal and photographed by a driver while passing through the area in January this year.
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