Tigresses captured from a village near Kolkata

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Kolkata, Sep. 2 (ANI): Two royal Bengal tigresses, which had strayed into a West Bengal village, were captured by forest officials on Tuesday.

The tigresses, who had terrorized villagers over the last several weeks, were trapped in the Panchmakhani and Pirkhali forests of the Sunderban Delta area.

The younger cat of the duo had been trapped in July too. At that time, she had entered and killed some cattle some cattle in Kumirmari village. She was fitted with a microchip for future identification.

N.C. Bahuguna, Director, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve, said the tigers were nabbed after stepping up night patrolling for a week.

"For the last one week the tigers were roaming outside the forests and we were informed by the locals the tigers were coming into their village and after that our staff became active. We stepped up night patrolling for a week and it was a chance that after a week we nabbed both the tigers," said Bahuguna.

The tigresses underwent a medical check-up at Sudhanyakhali and were declared fit to be released into the forest.

While the younger tigress would be released in the Sunderban Biosphere Area, away from its earlier territory, the older one would be set free within the Sunderban Tiger Reserve area.

The number of tigers in India has plummeted to around 1,411, nearly half the previous estimate.

The previous census, carried out in 2001 and 2002, said there were 3,642 tigers. A century ago there were 40,000. (ANI)

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