A team from global tiger centre (GTC) in Gelephu trapped a male tiger, weighing 170 kgs and 2.78 meters long from the Tali ridge in Nangkhor, Zhemgang on October 4.

The tiger, which is around 6-7 years old, reportedly killed more than 18 cows in Tsaidang, Nyakhar and Zhobling villages this year.

The programme director who is also a tiger expert with GTC, Tshering Tempa, said the captured tiger was responsible for killing the animals.

After the killing spree in the three villages continued, the department of forest and park services office in Zhemgang invited a team from the centre, which than set foot traps in the nearby ridges.

The team from the centre visited the affected villages on September 28 and set three traps in three different locations after studying the tiger’s movements.

The tiger collaring team from centre, forestry officials of Zhemgang’s nature conservation division were in the forest of Tali and Buli for a week.

The team monitored the traps every morning until the fourth day, when they found that the animal was caught in one of the traps.

The tiger expert said this was the fastest catch ever.

He said the tiger could have gone on a killing spree after the villagers collected all the carcasses and disturbed its killing spot.

Given its physical strength, it doesn’t look like it would kill that many cows in a short span of time, he said.

According to officials from the centre, the villagers should have left the carcasses so that the tiger could feed fully and leave the spot to another place.

As part of the radio-collaring project, the centre will now monitor the animal for a year.

As long as the tiger dose not rip off the antenna of the collar, the collar can last for two year, said Tshering Tempa. 

Bhutan Foundation funded the collaring project.

Although some villagers talked about seeing at least two tigers in the forest, officials confirmed from the camera traps that there was a record of tiger being spotted in those areas in the past.

The three villages saw no killing in the last one-week. However, the villagers fear that the animal could return any time since it’s still roaming the area.

To avoid further human-wildlife conflict in those villages, the centre will monitor the movement of the animal and inform the nearest forest office to alert villages if the animal is roaming nearby.

Terrorised by the killing spree, the villagers started rearing their cattle near their homes and went to the forest in groups.


Tashi Tenzin | Zhemgang