COIMBATORE: After nearly five months, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) officials arrested two residents of Masinagudi for allegedly killing a nine-year-old tigress by poisoning.
The suspects, A Ahmed Kabeer(26) of Achakarai and P Kariyan(25) of Kurumbarpadi, along with two others, had allegedly poisoned the big cat by lacing a piece of cow meat with pesticide and placing it along the animal's pathway in Singara forest range on November 20 last year. The officials are on the lookout for two more suspects, S Sadaam (29) and Sowhath Ali (55).
The officials caught the suspect while Kariyan, after absconding for nearly five months, returned to his native village to attend a funeral recently.
Deputy Director of MTR (Masinagudi) LCS Srikanth said that three of the suspects owned cattle and buffaloes, while Kariyan, a tribal, was employed as a cowhand. "They had planned to kill a leopard that fed on the bovines. However, the tiger was unfortunately killed after consuming the poisoned meat."
Following the incident, forest officials rescued two male cubs of the dead tigress and sent them to Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai.
The four suspects were booked under Sections 9 (poisoning) and 52 (abetment) under the Wildlife Protection Act. Ahmed Kabeer and Kariyan were remanded in judicial custody.