Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed her concern over the incident of a tiger roaming free in Lalgarh forest.
During the administrative meeting in Bankura, Banerjee asked the police and Forest department officials to take the help of drones to spot the tiger, which is yet to be captured.
The Chief Minister wanted to know from the district forest officer (DFO), what the condition on the ground level was. She also instructed the DFO to take necessary steps so that the tiger does not enter the forest area of Bankura, where a fresh pug mark was detected on Wednesday morning.
It may be mentioned that a fresh pugmark has been detected at Koyaguri forest area, a few km away from West Midnapore. According to Forest department sources, pug marks have been found in the forest areas of Jhargram, West Midnapore and Bankura on Wednesday morning, triggering panic among local residents.
Villagers on Wednesday morning informed the Forest department officials that a pug mark was detected inside the Laxmanpur forest in Jhargram. Forest department officials examined the area and found the pug mark of a full-grown tiger.
Officials are suspecting that there could be more than one tiger in the areas. The areas where the pug marks have been found in Jhargram and West Midnapore are situated close to villages, as a result of which, the people are scared to step out of their houses. Children are not going to school.
Forest department officials are exploring all possible options to capture the tiger. Cage traps have been set up at different parts of these districts, but the tiger is still at large. The presence of the feline was first detected at Madhupur forest in Jhargram, when a hidden camera captured a full-grown male tiger on last Friday.
Forest department officials on Saturday placed two cage-traps with baits at Madhupur forest in Lalgarh to capture the tiger.
Initially, the Forest department officials thought that it could be a hoax, but pug marks found in the forest confirmed that it was an actual full-grown tiger. Villagers in Lalgarh had recently alleged that at least a dozen cows, calves and goats had gone missing, with some of their corpses found near the forests over the past few months.
Five pairs of cameras were put up on tree trunks and other strategic locations inside the core forest area in January.