The badly mauled body of a 45-year-old man has been found from the Katarniya Ghat wildlife reserve in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district, sending panic waves in the area of a man eater on the prowl. A month ago, an 18-year-old girl was devoured by a big cat in the same area.
"A man eater is on the prowl," is the buzzword in and around Vishnu-Tanda village, from where both the incidents were reported.
Identified as Sitaram, the victim had been missing since Sunday evening.
According to Katarniya Ghat divisional forest officer R.K. Singh, "Sitaram had gone to the nearby Girjapuri market for shopping Sunday evening. He was apparently attacked by a tigress while he was on his way back home."
He said: "While Sitaram's family was looking for him, a forest guard spotted the remains of his body some 4 km away from the Katarniya Ghat reserve office this (Monday) morning."
The tigress had devoured most of the body. The victim was recognised by his clothes, skull and part of his legs.
About a month back, another resident of the same village had fallen victim to the animal.
The DFO maintained that the 18-year old girl, Gudiya, was killed by a leopard and not a tiger. However, eyewitnesses in Vishnu Tanda claimed that "Gudiya was taken away by a striped animal, that was obviously a tiger".
Local residents are terrified and have demanded that the animal be declared a man eater.
However, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) project officer Dabeer Hasan told reporters: "No tiger can be declared man eater unless it is involved in at least a dozen human kills."