News reports said the locals were scared and had threatened to kill any tiger unless rangers from nearby wildlife parks didn’t immediately catch and relocate them. When we arrived Varghese told us that just last week a tiger had been spotted drinking water from a stream 100 metres from the house.
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We traversed a small tree-covered hill where Rangit pointed out fresh tiger scat. Then we found deep scratches in the bark of one of the trees. Rangit seemed pleased. We stopped to observe a perfect pugmark.
“Tiger is here, maybe one hour,” said Rangit.
You have a cold? Try a pinch of tiger, or a smattering of red panda. A Chinese medicine maker’s pantry is spread over the hills of Darjeeling, but this zoo is doing all it can to protect the animals.