India

Stray tiger in India evades 'mating call' lure

A Royal Bengal tiger baring her teeth
Image caption India has the world's largest tiger population, but numbers have dwindling in recent decades

Wildlife experts in India's Rajasthan state have been using a recorded mating call to woo a tigress who strayed from a national park into nearby forests.

"Yes we have been using the method to find and tranquilize her," AC Chaubey, chief wildlife warden in Rajasthan told the BBC.

The five year old tigress, called T-35, left her habitat in Ranthambhore National Park almost two years ago.

But so far she has evaded all efforts to lure her back.

'No harm'

The recorded mating calls could be heard through the forests of Baran, in the south-east corner of Rajasthan.

According to wildlife officials, once they catch the tigress, they will shift her to Sariska National Park.

"The call method is a widely accepted way to lure the animal with no harm," said Mr Chaubey.

A team of experts followed the pug marks of T-35 and played the mating calls.

"Despite all our efforts in the last four days, we could not lure her," a senior officer from Baran told the BBC.

According to forest officials, Ranthambhore National Park is home to 31 big cats while Sariska has only five tigers. Besides this, 17 cubs are also roaming in the forest.

India has the highest number of tigers in the wild. But poaching and other threats to the big cats have reduced their numbers to just 1,706, as reported in a census last year.

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