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The Madras High Court last week, praying for a direction to the Forest Department to ensure that the tiger is captured alive.

After an eight day gap, the man eater tiger, which has so far killed four people and 20 heads of cattle, was spotted at Ombetta area in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, following which Forest department personnel and a medical team rushed to the area, officials said.

Camera footage showed the feline, coded T-23, moving towards the area, covering Mayar, Theppakkadu and Mudumalai late last night, forest department sources said They said efforts were on to trap it live by tranquilising for the last 15 days, but the tiger had been evading capture.

The officials suspect that the tiger may move to its old habitats in Devan Estate and Mayfield, and said a special team has already reached the area.

The Madras High Court, while passing interim orders on a PIL petition last week, praying for a direction to the Forest Department to ensure that the tiger is captured alive and no steps were taken to put it to sleep, or otherwise kill it, had asked the officials to ensure that the least number of persons entered the forest for its capture, while stressing the need to respect its right to roam free in the wild.