A tiger who has been constantly straying out of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) has claimed its third victim Thursday.

One source pointed that Pintu Mali was in his “makeshift house in the middle of the field” in Kalagudha region under the Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary when he was mauled by the “sub-adult male tiger” known as “T-104.”

Shrawan Kumar of the Karauli DCF said that the 30-year-old victim had “injury marks on his neck” when they found his body a few meters away from where he was attacked.

Bengal tiger India
Drones have provided conservationists with a new, reliable way of tracking tiger movements and preventing poaching. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Mali's mother and sister “raised an alarm and shouted” when they saw the tiger dragging his body.

With T-104 reported to have been prowling near human settlements in the regions of Sawai Madhopur and Karuli, the forest department is now trying to locate and capture the tiger.

Should they do, T-104 will be the second animal after Ustad, or T-24, to be put in an enclosure at Jaipur's Nahargarh Biological Park.

Senior officials have yet to release an official statement regarding the plan, the source added.

“Our teams are constantly tracking the tiger. However, the attack was so sudden that the trackers could not react or prevent it,” said Ranthambore National Park DCF and deputy director Hemant Sigh.

Sigh's team is now in pursuit to tranquilize the tiger, but the animal is moving “in a terrain where it's difficult to track.”

He also noted that an “ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh” was given to Mali's family courtesy of the forest department.

Mali's death also sparked an altercation between “agitated villagers” and officials. According to a report, the villagers did not allow the forest and police department to take Mali's body. They also “allegedly manhandled the team” who were camping in the village in search for the tiger.

Two forest guards were also held hostage until other authorities reached the area, it added.

T-104 will be released in Ranthambore when it is captured. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will oversee the decision and will base it as per their standard operating procedure, said Chief wildlife warden Arindam Tomar.

Although officials are not saying that T-104 has turned into a “man-killer,” the animal's sudden behavior can be traced when it was chased away from the Reserve by “dominant males.”

“Possibly he was hungry then and ate the flesh. After that he made two attacks on humans and killed them,” said the source as it described the time T-104 claimed its first victim.