A boy was killed and his grandfather a plantation worker seriously injured in a tiger attack at Belluru village in Ponnampet taluk of Kodagu district on Monday. The victim was identified as Rangaswamy, 8, while his grandfather, Kencha, a plantation worker, has been hospitalised.

Conservator of Forests T. Hiralal said the Forest Department team has identified the marauding tiger, which is about 10 years old. The official said the team has tracked the animal to a sacred grove or devara kaadu. The combing operations are on and the tiger has been cornered, he added.

Earlier in the day, the team had tried to tranquilise the animal which was lurking in the bushes but sources said the tranquiliser dart missed its mark. The marksmen accompanying a foot patrol team had come close to the tiger and hence were forced to open fire but the tiger escaped. A senior official said the combing and tracking operation would was suspended late in the evening and will resume at dawn.

Monday's incident is the third human death due to a tiger attack in Kodagu in the last three weeks and has resulted in widespread anger against the authorities for their failure to curb human-animal conflict.

The area is also known to constantly witness human-elephant conflicts. The local community has complained that at least 16 animals — mainly cattle — have been killed by the tiger on the prowl.

Meanwhile, the State government has issued permission to shoot and put down the tiger if efforts to tranquilise and shift it fail.

An injured tigress that killed two persons in a single day last month, had been trapped and tranquilised two weeks ago. Mr.Hiralal said there are reasons to believe that this is a different tiger and they had not captured the wrong tiger as alleged by the local community.

"The tiger trapped almost three weeks ago and shifted to the wildlife rescue centre in Mysuru was an injured animal, unable to hunt, while this is a different tiger," he said.