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‘Big cat’ kills woman out to collect fodder, officials suspect ‘man-eater’

The partially eaten body of the woman was recovered from the forests, officials said, but did not confirm whether the big cat was a tiger or a leopard

dehradun Updated: Nov 22, 2017 20:12 IST
Tiger attack,Man eater,Leopard attack
A Tiger at Corbett Tiger Reserve in Ramnagar. (HT File)

A woman was found killed by a big cat in Tanakpur area of Champawat district on Wednesday – fourth such killing in the district in the past nine months -- when she had gone to nearby forests to collect fodder for cattle.

The partially eaten body of the woman was recovered from the forests, officials said, but did not confirm whether the big cat was a tiger or a leopard.

Hema Devi (45), a resident of Naya Goth village in Tanakpur, 103km from here, and another woman, Parvati Devi, went to the forests under Sharda range. The big cat attacked Hema when they went about 1.5km inside the forests, officials said.

Seeing the attack, Parvati ran towards the village, shouting in fear. Sharda range sub-divisional officer (SDO) Rajesh Srivastava and Tanakpur police station inspector Arun Verma reached the spot with villagers, and recovered the body.

The victim’s husband, a retired army man, had gone to his native place Saurag in Bageshwar to perform a worship.

Srivastva said, “It is yet to be ascertained whether the big cat is a tiger or a leopard. We have installed camera traps and a cage to catch the man-eater big cat. We had earlier advised villagers not to go into deep forests, but they are risking lives by not obeying our advice.”

Local photographer Devendra Singh claimed that he spotted pugmarks, usually of a tiger, while he was going towards Pithoragarh highway.

The first tiger attack death in the last nine months was reported on Febraury 26 when a woman, Sona Devi, of Bohra village went to forests to fetch firewood, but did not return. Villagers went to search for her and found her half-eaten body. Another woman, Radha Devi, was killed by a big cat on April 25 when she had gone to forests to collect fodder for cattle. On June 24, Janki Devi of Bastia village died in a big cat attack while she collecting fodder in forests.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 20:12 IST