Tiger strays from Bihar reserve, injures five in Kushinagar

A stray tiger which is roaming in the Padrauna area of Kushinagar district on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border has attacked five persons. While none was seriously injured, forest officials from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are trying to get the tiger back to Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, from where it is said to have strayed.

The tiger, which was first sighted on Friday evening near Shahpur village in Padrauna forest range, has kept forest officials on tenterhooks as it roamed the densely populated areas of Padrauna.

Kushinagar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) R P Singh said he had formed eight teams to track the tiger's movements. A team of tranquilising experts from Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Patna zoo is also on alert along with a team of forest officials from Bihar.

Singh said they had received permission to tranquilise the tiger on Saturday evening, but the animal could not been traced since Saturday night. There were reports of two or three sightings on Sunday but its presence could not be confirmed by the forest officials who reached these spots.

The tiger attacked two persons on Friday while it was being hounded by people. It injured three persons on Saturday.

Singh said the tiger was hiding in fields of wheat and banana. On Friday night it ventured inside Padrauna town, the headquarters of Kushinagar district. "The tiger reached Subhash Chowk, which is the main town area. It wandered around the PWD office for some time and then went away on its own," said Singh.

Bihar forest officials have been asked to check if the tiger had returned to its habitat in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, about 40 km away.

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