Startled by balloons, killed for rituals: Six bizarre incidents involving tigers
A full-grown tiger scaled a 12-foot fence and killed a 20-month-old tigress inside the Bandhavgarh reserve in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.
The reserve, sandwiched between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges in Umaria district, has one of the highest tiger densities in the country with 61 adult big cats and 12 sub-adults.
It has been witnessing growing incidents of man-animal conflict over the past few years, resulting in the death of both man and tigers. Tuesday’s was sixth tiger death in Bandhavgarh this year and 27th in the state.
Here are six incidents involving tigers in the last 15 days:
November 29, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh
A male tiger T37 scaled a fence and killed a 20-month-old tigress inside the Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. The tigress was shifted to the reserve on November 22 from Kothar area of the buffer zone where she was seen as a risk to humans and livestock. Wildlife activist Sarosh Lodhi said though a tiger can jump up to 12 feet, it very rare for it to kill a tigress. Territorial fights happen mostly between male tigers.
November 22, Balaghat district near Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh
A 7-year-old male tiger was killed and its paws taken away in Katangi area of Balaghat district near Pench Tiger Reserve for a tantric ritual. Villagers, especially tribals in this part of the state, believe that the special tantric ritual in which body parts of a tiger are used will make them wealthy, strong and prosperous. The trend of killing tigers for such tantric rituals has recently picked up in and around Kanha and Pench tigers reserves.
November 28, Indore zoo, Madhya Pradesh
A 15-month-old tigress Jamuna escaped from its enclosure in the Indore zoo by scaling a 12-feet wall after it was startled by the bursting of a child’s balloon. Terrified zoo visitors ran helter-skelter and hid under a concrete shelter. The tigress was on the loose for nearly two hours before zoo officials managed to capture her. No one was injured.
November 26, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Pune, Maharashtra
A man in his 20s jumped into the enclosure of a white tiger in the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and kept walking towards him. What he did next shocked park officials - he touched the big cat. The park officials somehow managed to evacuate the man after opening the enclosure’s gate. He was not hurt.
November 25, Bangmara area, Assam
A tigress strayed out of the Kaziranga National Park to Bangmara area in Assam’s Jorhat district. As the feline was chased by enraged villagers, she tried to hide in a paddy field. But the villagers spotted and surrounded her with sharp weapons. They killed the tigress and chopped off its tail, nails and other body parts.
November 14, a village near Ranthambore National Park
A tiger known as T-83 fell in a dry well in a village near Ranthambore National Park. When locals saw the tiger struggling in the well, they informed nearby forest officials. A rescue operation was launched jointly by wildlife officials and local police using ropes and a cage. After tranquilising it, the big cat was rescued.