Why Indian authorities are turning to Calvin Klein aftershave to hunt a tiger

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Big cats go crazy for Obsession.

A tiger lying in the long grass

A deadly tiger is on the loose in central India and authorities are resorting to unusual methods to try to catch it.

The predator, a female known as T1, is believed to have killed up to 14 people over the last two years around the town of Pandharkawada.

The tragic turn of events has left authorities in a difficult spot, and despite significant resources having been put into the tigress’ capture, she remains on the loose in Maharashtra state.

Indeed, after using drones, snipers and jeeps in their futile attempts to capture the tiger, their latest efforts seem to have made things worse.

Tiger's footprint at their natural habitat
The tiger has proved hard to track (Swapan_banik/Getty)

In a recent attempt to resolve the situation, authorities brought in five elephants to help catch the tiger and her cubs.

But according to local reports, one of the elephants itself escaped and killed a woman from a nearby village, 30-year-old Archana Kulsange.

Understandably, tensions are running high in the area.


Against this backdrop, forestry officials have turned to an unusual form of bait to lure the tiger into a trap: Calvin Klein Obsession.

A bottle of Calvin Klein's Obsession
Tigers cannot get enough of Obsession (Fiona Hanson/PA)

According to a report in the New York Times, rangers intend to deploy the cologne near to the many camera traps which have been set up in the area.

And if it sounds like a long shot to use perfume to catch a tiger, there is logic behind it.


The fragrance contains a compound, civetone, originally found in civets, which big cats are proven to love.

Previous research has found they will linger where the scent is for some time, and even try to roll around in it.

A civet
Civetone was originally found in the scent glands of civets but is now usually made synthetically (kajornyot/Getty)

Sunil Limaye, an official working on the tiger hunt, told the New York Times: “I know, it’s really funny. But what are we going to do?”

The perfume was use in 2015 to help capture a man-eating tiger in Tamil Nadu – the veterinarian involved in the hunt turned to the fragrance after using tiger urine prove ineffective.

Should the bait work on T1, rangers will try to sedate the tiger and relocate her.

Failing that, they have judicial permission to shoot to kill.

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