After killing of forest official, Ranthambore’s T-24 under watch

Tiger

A day after T-24, a male tiger at Ranthambore tiger reserve, reportedly killed assistant forest officer Gheesu Singh on Thursday, sources said it chased a vehicle travelling through its territory yesterday. Identifying the tiger as a threat, wildlife experts and locals have claimed it is responsible for two other deaths in the area. However, forest department officials have denied such reports.

According to sources, two local villagers were killed in T-24's territory — Ashfaq Ahmad on March 9 this year and Ghamandi Saini on July 3, 2010. While locals and guides blame T-24, forest department officials dispute this claim.

"There is no way to prove that T-24 has killed two other persons earlier and that it has a tendency to kill humans. We are watching it closely and it has been found that it has a tendency to wander off outside its own territory towards the helipad, the Indian Oil depot and the main road," said state environment and forest minister Bina Kak.

"Just because the killings happened within his territory is not evidence enough against him. There were female pug marks within T-24's territory and it could have been some other tigress," Kak said.

On Thursday, T-24 attacked Gheesu Singh and dragged him into the bushes. Forest officials and some labourers burst crackers to drive away the tiger, after which Singh's body was retrieved.

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