An eighty-year-old man is suspected to have been mauled by a tiger on Saturday morning when he had gone to fetch drywood from a forest along the Bhopal-Raisen border.
The incident occurred near Gopisur, around 25 km from Raisen town between Choupata and Samardha.
The man survived the attack and is being treated for his wounds.
Sources said that Bhav Singh Banjara suffered wounds on his skull. After first aid at Raisen, he was referred to Bhopal for treatment.
District forest officer (DFO) Raisen Ravinder Saxena told HT a team of forest officials were investigating to identify animal which attacked he old man.
“I looked at the wounds on his skull and it is unlikely that an 80-year-old man can survive a tiger attack. We are suspecting it could be a small leopard. But the man keeps insisting that he was attacked by a tiger-like creature,” he added.
Saxena said there was no report of tiger movement in the area where the incident took place.
The movement of tigers from the Ratapani sanctuary near human habitation in Bhopal, Raisen and Sehore has been giving sleepless nights to villagers in these areas in the last few months.
In August, feline fear had haunted the Ratibad area on the outskirts of Bhopal as a tigress was roaming around with three cubs.
Five tigers, including a tigress and 3 cubs, have been known to be operating in the forests of Kerwa near Bhopal.
In September, cattle kill was reported from the Samarda forests in Bhopal district, indicating the presence of a tiger.
Wildlife experts are worried that the sanctuary is proving small for tigers or its prey base is probably coming down, thus forcing tigers to move out, exposing them to various dangers including poaching.
In June 2012, a tiger got electrocuted in a set trap at Sehore’s Virpur range, where it had gone for a drink at a waterhole and was later hacked into two pieces by the poachers.
Man-animal conflict in the state has claimed many human lives over the years. At least 10 people have been killed by tigers in Bandhavgarh in the last 7 years, including four in the last eight months.
On October 24, a teacher was killed in a village in the buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. On October 27, a young woman was killed in a jungle bordering Kanha National Park when she went there to collect firewood.