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Hunt for Tiger that killed youngster in Karnataka’s Hunsur intensifies

This March, a tiger was found dead in Karnataka’s coffee growing district of Kodagu after it had killed four and critically injured at least one other person apart from killing at least 25 cattle
By HT Correspondent, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON SEP 14, 2021 04:18 PM IST
There has been an increase in human-animal conflict in Karnataka mainly since animals are getting pushed out of their territory. (HT File Photo)

The hunt for a Tiger in the Nagarhole National Park in Mysore has intensified after it killed a 19-year-old from a tribal community on September 8 in Hunsur, Karnataka forest officials said.

The Tiger, possibly aged between 3 and 4 years, is believed to be on the prowl in the range and at least 50 personnel are trying to track its movements using various tools including 70 camera traps and thermal drones that have managed to take pictures of other animals in the area but not of the predator responsible for killing the teenager from the Jenu Kuruba community, a forest dweller tribe, officials said.

“We are trying to collect data from the ground and three are no signs of the individual (Tiger) which was involved in the conflict. We are getting signs and data from other individuals (Tigers),” D Mahesh Kumar, deputy conservator of forests and director, Karnataka forest department told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.

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There has been an increase in human-animal conflict in Karnataka mainly since animals are getting pushed out of their territory due to encroachments for farming and other purposes. According to the forest department data, 17,561 human-animal conflicts took place in the state in 2020-21 compared to 16,314 in 2019-20. At least 434 cases of Tigers attacking cattle or humans were also reported in 2020-21, a 37% increase from 316 such encounters in 2019-20, as per the data, which puts the figure of loss of human lives in these two years at least nine.

Wild animals straying into human settlements, agricultural lands and plantations in search of food outside the forest is also a major reason for growing conflicts.

With 524 Tigers estimated to be in Karnataka following the last official count, the state has the second largest population of these majestic big cats spread over forest ranges such as Bandipur, Nagarhole, Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple (BRT) and Bhadra among other reserves.

According to a Right to Information (RTI) response by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change and the National Tiger Conservation Authority on September 3 to a Kerala-based activist, RK Govindan Nampoothiry, 50 lakh was paid as compensation for deaths caused by tiger attacks in Karnataka between 2014 and 2020. Maharashtra with 998.20 lakh followed by 169 lakh in Uttar Pradesh and 128.53 lakh in Madhya Pradesh topped the compensation amount for deaths caused by tigers during that period.

This March, a tiger was found dead in Karnataka’s coffee growing district of Kodagu after it had killed four and critically injured at least one other person apart from killing at least 25 cattle.

On February 21, the forest department captured a Tigress lurking in the locality.

A 2018 report titled, Status of Tigers, Co-predators & Prey in India, shows that only around 1923 of these big-cats live within the reserves while around 35% of them live outside the protected forests.

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