Tiger seen in Guatala Autramghat sanctuary, a first after 1940

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Aurangabad, Mar 19 (PTI) A tiger has been spotted in Guatala Autramghat Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time since 1940, with officials on Friday stating the big cat has strayed from Tipeshwar Sanctuary in Yavatmal, some 330 kilometres from here, in search of prey.

The tiger was native to this region but vanished in 1940, though leopards have flourished with the current numbers being 25, Divisional Forest Officer Vijay Satpute told PTI.

'This tiger, which is a fully grown male, came to the sanctuary around March 11-12 and was spotted in a forest camera on March 15. It belongs to Tipeshwar area and we have confirmed it through its stripes. The route the tiger took to reach here has not been confirmed as it is not collared,' Satpute said.

'We have formed seven teams to keep a watch on this tiger. Gautala has good prey base, which may be the reason why it is here. We have found that the tiger has hunted wild boar,' he said.

Maharashtra State Wildlife Board member Yadav Tarte Patil said the tiger may have come through Pandharkawda, Umarkhed, some parts of Telangana, Akola, Dnyanganga (Buldhana), Hingoli, and reached Gautala from Ajanta mountain ranges.

'The tiger's journey may be close to 2,000 kilometres.

Such corridors should be declared as critical tiger habitat and best wildlife management practices must be implemented to protect such routes,' he added. PTI AW BNM BNM