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Elusive Bengal tiger attacks two tribal men who tried to catch it, disappears again

The injured men were taken to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. Villagers said they spotted the tiger inside a deep pit and tried to catch it with a net but the tiger managed to jump out.

kolkata Updated: Mar 30, 2018 22:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bengal Tiger,Lalgarh,West Midnapore
The tiger was first sighted on March 2 by one of the seven cameras the forest department installed near Lalgarh.(Photo courtesy: West Bengal Forest Department)

The Bengal tiger, which strayed into the forests at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district last month, attacked two men near Bagghora village on Friday when local tribal people tried to catch it with a net.

Despite warnings from the government, the men entered the forest to hunt small game as part of an annual tribal festival.

All efforts by the state government to trap the big cat and send it back to its natural habitat in adjoining Odisha had earlier failed. On Friday, the tiger disappeared once again after clawing Nandalal Soren, 40, and Panda Murmu, 35.

Read: Pug marks near Midnapore town, Mamata advises use of drone to spot tiger

The injured men were taken to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. Villagers told the police that they spotted the tiger inside a deep pit and tried to catch it with a net but the tiger managed to jump out.

“We are trying our best to catch the tiger,” Rabindranath Saha, divisional forest officer of Midnapore, said.

On February 27, the forest department installed cameras inside the forests after villagers complained that some livestock had gone missing. On March 2, the tiger was caught on one of the cameras at Madhupur forest that used to be a Maoist hotbed during the Left regime in Bengal.

The forest department placed cages with live baits and even used drone cameras to spot the exact location of the animal which people in Lalgarh, Goaltote and Salboni in West Midnapore district and Sarenga and Simlapal in adjoining Bankura district claimed to have seen.

Read: Prowling tiger adds to exam stress in Bengal’s Lalgarh

The drone cameras were used following orders from chief minister Mamata Banerjee on March 7. But the efforts yielded no result.

Hunt for the elusive tiger even claimed two lives. Damodar Murmu and Amal Chakraborty, both employees of the forest department died on March 13 inside a special vehicle that is used to scare away wild elephants with bright lights and sirens powered by a generator.

The duo, deployed to keep watch, kept the generator running but shut all the windows out of fear of the tiger. Fumes from the generator filled up the vehicle, killing the men inside.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 22:02 IST