A young male tiger that had been detained by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department after it killed a woman, romped back to freedom on Friday as the Forest Department and wildlife conservationists released it into the wilderness of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.On March 5, the tiger had killed 22-year-old Girija Devi in Chandupur, a village near Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. With the villages around Pilibhit erupting in angry protests — Devi was the fourth person from the area to be killed by a tiger since January — forest officials lost no time in capturing the big cat.Apart from the U.P. Forest Department, two non-governmental organisations — the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) — participated in the operation. “The tiger was a young male, around one to four years old as judged from its dentition and pelage (fur),” said Dr. Reetika Maheshwary of WTI. It was tranquilised and fitted with a GPS satellite collar so that its post-release movement could be monitored. “Since it had no injuries or deformities, it was an ideal candidate for rehabilitation,” Dr. Maheshwary said.The tiger’s rehabilitation was meticulously planned in keeping with established protocols, said Sunil Chaudhary, Field Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Intensive monitoring“Over the next 15-20 days, the tiger will be intensively monitored by forest staff, WWF-India, and WTI. Later its movement will be tracked through the satellite collar,” he added.The rehabilitation team said the tiger was released in a forested area, where it will have ample access to wild prey.Prey availability, however, is not the only criterion that determines how well a tiger can adapt to a new location. Translocating a young male into a different area can cause territorial clashes between existing dominant tigers and the new individual. In such cases, young males could often be shunted out of the location.