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Cameras Capture Tiger Cub Roaming on Educational Institute Campus in Bhopal

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A tiger cub roaming on the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) campus here since the last five days has finally been photographed by cameras set up on the premises, a forest official said. The prestigious institute had moved to online teaching mode last Thursday for a day, after forest officials found pug marks and confirmed the presence of the big cat on the campus, the official said on Sunday.

According to forest officials, the tiger has killed two cows on the MANIT campus, as some of the staff owns cattle. The institute, which has a strength of 6,000-odd students, is spread over 650 acres, of which 100 acres are covered with thickets, the institute’s registrar Binod Doley told PTI.

Bhopal divisional forest officer (DFO) Alok Pathak said, Our cameras have clicked photos of the male tiger cub T-123-4, aged more than two years and born to T-123, on the MANIT campus on Saturday.” At least 50 forest personnel have worked for the last five days and set up cameras to capture the feline’s images and the move finally paid off on Saturday, he said. According to behavioural studies on tigers, they move out from a place in seven to eight days. This is the animal’s sixth day on the campus, and it might move out in a day or two, the official said.

A tiger forms a territory in an area of 25 sq km and moves within it, killing and resting, he said. The big cat was living in a low-lying area like a ravine spread over a forest area of 300 to 400 acres, which was connected to the thickets on the MANIT campus, the official said.

We have put a cage with a bait on the campus, Pathak said. Tigers from the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, spread in Raisen and Sehore districts close to Bhopal, move in the Kerwa area of the state capital.

This time around, one of them, T-123-4, has strayed on to the educational campus, he said. We had switched to online teaching on Thursday after forest officials informed us about the feline’s pug marks on the campus. The next day, we went offline after the DFO told us in writing that there was no threat to students and MANIT can go for offline classes,” the institute’s public relations officer Dr Amit Ojha said.

There was no need to panic or worry as forest officials have cordoned off the area where the tiger was staying, he said. At least 1,000-odd people who are family members of staffers and teachers and 5,000 hostellers living on the campus have been asked to stay indoors at night and early mornings when it is dark, MANIT registrar Doley said. We have carried out drills on the campus to deal with emergencies, he said.

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