COIMBATORE: Good news for wildlife enthusiasts in Kovai! Images of a tiger have been captured in a camera installed by the Forest Department in Mettupalayam forest range, second such incident of the big cat being spotted in the district in the recent past. In 2012, images of another tiger were captured in Sirumugai Forest Range.
The camera, installed near Odanthurai, has successfully captured the majestic animal. Visuals show the striped cat walking at a leisurely pace after quenching its thirst from a forest pond. M Nasir, Forest Range Officer, Mettupalayam Forest Range, has confirmed that the images of a tiger have been captured in a camera trap. The exact spot where the big cat was located though has not been disclosed. The Forest Department has installed two camera traps each in Mettupalayam and Sirumugai forest ranges.
According to M Senthil Kumar, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore Forest Division, this comes as a good news as tigers tend to move to that patch of a forest which has an adequate prey base which, in turn, indicates a healthy trend for the wildlife population in general. However, forest officials are yet to ascertain the approximate number of tigers in Coimbatore Forest Division.
"These images of the tiger captured in the camera trap will be useful for wildlife and forest conservation. Patrolling will be tightened. These images point towards a healthy wildlife population, credit for which should go to the grossroot-level workers such as the anti-poaching watchers, forest guards etc.," said D Boominathan, Landscape Coordinator.
Forest officials have issued a warning for tourists as well as the public not to venture out of their vehicles and panic if they come across wild animals crossing the Udhagamandalam or Kotagiri road. Deer, elephants and even leopards crossing these busy roads is not a very uncommon occurence. The Forest Department has cautioned tourists and the public not to disturb the animals in any manner.