A tiger that had been radio-collared in India crossed creeks, islands and water bodies, travelling around 100km in four months, to reach neighbouring Bangladesh.
The tiger started its journey in December last year after forest officials attached a radio transmitter to it in the Indian state of West Bengal, to study its movement patterns near human habitations. But the big cat took them by surprise and ventured from the forest in India to the mangroves of Bangladesh, reported the Times of India.
“It was captured from Harinbhanga forest, just opposite the Harikhali camp under Basirhat range, and later released with the satellite collar on 27 December,” VK Yadav, the chief wildlife warden for West Bengal, was quoted as saying by the paper.
The Sundarbans are the world’s largest mangrove forests which span the Hooghly river in West Bengal to Baleswar river in Bangladesh‘s division of Khulna, covering an area of about 10,000 square kilometres. The forest is home to about 96 Bengal tigers.
“After initial movements for a few days on the Indian side, [the tiger] started venturing into the Talpatti island and in Bangladesh Sunderbans and crossed rivers such as Choto Harikhali, Boro Harikali and even the Raimangal,” Mr Yadav added.
During this period between 27 December and 11 May, as the tiger moved across three islands in Indian and Bangladesh Sunderbans, it did not come in contact with human habitats, said the forest official.
Mr Yadav further added that the felid could have originally come from Bangladesh before being captured by forest officials in India in December.
According to him, the last location of the tiger was found to be the Talpatti island in Bangladesh, before they lost the signal in May, possibly because it was either damaged or slipped off from the tiger’s neck.
“The gadget also had a mortality sensor, which gives signals in case of the tiger’s death. But that didn’t happen…. In all probability, the collar has slipped off its neck. In the Sundarbans, salinity in the water can also damage radio collars,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.