The Jharkhand government has warned villagers and picnickers of the presence of a tigress in and around Dainmari jungle in East Singhbhum district after pugmarks of the big cat were spotted in the forest, an official said here on Thursday. Pugmarks of the tigress and a cub were detected in the jungle in Ghatsila sub-division on Monday after locals had informed officials that one of their cattle went missing while another managed to escape with injuries, Divisional Forest Officer Abhisekh Kumar said.
"Though no one has sighted the tigress and the cub, we have advised villagers not venture into the forest to collect firewood or set free their cattle for grazing," he said.
A search operation has already been launched to catch the tigress and the cub, Kumar said.
"We have also advised villagers not to keep their cattle in the open during nights and light fires outside their homes as a precautionary measure," the official said.
The Dainmari jungle is around 5 km from Burudih dam, which is a popular picnic spot.
"We have also warned picnickers of the possible presence of the big cat in the forest," Kumar said.
He also said, "The tigress was suspected to have sneaked into the jungle along with its cub from adjoining Simlipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha."
Last week, pugmarks, suspected to be of a tiger, were spotted in a mustard field in Lakshmanpur village near Malabati forest in West Bengal's Jhargram district, adjoining Jharkhand.