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Tiger, Claim Locals; Deer, Says Forester

                                                                                                                The New Indian Express, Villupuram,26th March, 2015

VILLUPURAM:Villages adjoining Kottakuppam were in the grip of fear after rumours about the sighting of a tiger-like animal started doing the rounds on Wednesday.

About 2,000 acres of groves, abound with cashew, mango, jackfruit and banana cultivation is spread in the adjoining regions of Kottakuppam situated in the Puducherry-Tamil Nadu border, close to the Auroville international township.

On Thursday night, Ramamorthy, a villager, was on his way to the grove when he reportedly spotted the silhouette of a cat-like animal resting by the road.

However, on having a closer look he was shocked to find that the animal was a tiger and informed the villagers about the same, but no one believed him in the first instance.

“Initially, I thought a cat was seated on the roadside, but a closer look confirmed that it was a tiger. Earlier people used to mock at me but now they believe my word as two others also saw the tiger,” Ramamorthy said.

In a second confrontation, Muniappana of the same village, spotted the animal in the grove in the early hours. The villagers believing the tiger story to be true informed the police and forest department immediately.

As if confirming the presence of a big cat in the grove, the villagers on Tuesday found peacock feathers lying in the grove and presumed that the tiger had killed the peacock. Fearing this the villagers shunned the grove especially in the evenings.

Meanwhile, an official from forest department dumping the rumours said there was no tiger in that particular area.

He added that people might have spotted a deer, which they mistook for a tiger.