A four-year-old tigress which had taken refuge at an abandoned rubber factory here after venturing out of the Kishanpur sanctuary last year has been captured, officials said on Saturday.
'Sharmili' was caught around 11 am on Friday in a mega rescue operation that lasted around 30 hours, they said.
The big cat had entered the now defunct rubber factory premises around 15 months ago after walking out of the Kishanpur sanctuary in Lakhimpur Kheri district on March 11, 2020, the officials added.
Chief Forest Conservator of Bareilly Lalit Verma said 'Sharmili' is a very clever tigress who successfully escaped being spotted by as many as 39 cameras tracking her.
She was cornered on Thursday after five unsuccessful rescue attempts, he said.
"The sixth rescue attempt started 15 days ago with 39 cameras monitoring the 1,400-acre rubber factory. Early Thursday, the tigress was seen sitting in an empty tank near Chunaa Kothi. The diameter of the tank was 10 metres, while its height was 25 feet. When the tigress did not come towards the bait placed on a net, the tank was cut, and she was tranquilised," Verma said.
She is 11 feet long and weighs 150 kg. Around 125 people and two doctors were involved in the rescue operation, the official said.
Experts from Dehradun's Wildlife Institute of India, the Kanpur Zoological Garden, and officials of the UP Forest Department, WWF, Delhi, Dudhwa National Park and the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve were part of the operation