Tigers now thriving in Sathyamangalam forest once used by Veerappan

New Delhi, Oct 4 (ANI): Officials in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have claimed that the number of tigers have risen in forests once used as a jungle hideout by the dreaded bandit, Veerappan.

The forest department officials said that a decade ago, tigers were rarely found in Sathyamangalam forest, but now, they have even started breeding in the area. They also said about 20 tigers have been caught on film by hidden cameras.

DNA analysis carried out on tiger droppings confirm the presence of at least 13 tigers in the forest, they claimed.

"Until 10 years ago tigers were rarely sighted here. Now we have even captured [on film]breeding tigers here," the BBC quoted the district forest officer of Sathyamangalam, as saying.

"Tigers are fiercely territorial animals. Since the number of tigers are going up in the nearby Mudumalai and Bandipur reserves, tigers might have come here and settled," he added.

The forest was used by Veerappan, a dangerous sandalwood smuggler and hunter, until he was killed in 2004.

Part of the forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2008. It has now become an important migratory corridor for large mammals and is home to large numbers of elephants, black bucks, vultures and other animals and birds, the report added. (ANI)

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