Tiger kills teacher near MP’s Pench Tiger Reserve, forest dept calls it an accident
A 24-year-old teacher was mauled to death by a tiger in Khawasa buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, a forest official said.
A contractual teacher working in a primary school, Manoj Dhruve of Mudiareeth village, had gone to collect mushrooms from the forest when he was attacked by a tiger.
“After he went missing in the jungle on Tuesday afternoon, forest department personnel and villagers launched a manhunt. They recovered his slippers and saw blood stains. When they followed the signs and pug marks of the tiger, they recovered Manoj’s body in very bad shape late on Tuesday. The tiger ate almost all the body parts barring his face and legs,” the official said.
Following this incident, there was public outrage in the area. Pench Tiger Reserve field director VS Parihar said, “Pugmarks and other evidence confirmed that Manoj was killed by a tiger but it happened accidentally. The evidence also indicates that Manoj might not have seen the tiger and reached very close to him which led to this attack.”
“It is the first such attack in the area. That’s why we are taking precautionary measures. The villagers have been asked to stay away from the forest for a few days because a tiger shouldn’t get human imprint immediately after the incident. This is meant to ensure that the tiger doesn’t become a man-eater,” Parihar said.
An ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the next of kin of the deceased after completing investigation into the matter, a forest official said.
Recently, the Pench Tiger Reserve was adjudged as the best-managed tiger reserve in India.
(With inputs from Azhar Khan in Seoni).