Forest officials said tiger sightings were ‘very rare’ along the forest path which would usually be teeming with thousands of pilgrims. Tigers are highly reclusive and territorial animals. The animal could have come out in search of food and water.

The state has been experiencing a harsh summer. Weathermen had recorded the highest temperature in the past decade in some parts of Kerala and human habitations on forest fringes have been seeing increased man-animal conflicts. Animals venture out to human settlements in search of food and water.

Tiger reserve states in the country like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, have been taking steps to replenish watering holes inside forests. Even though a tiger sighting rings in some excitement, conservationists and forest officials say the drought could be pushing the limits for the wild beats.

SOURCEManorama Online