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Angry villagers drive away team seeking to tranquilise man-eating tigress, want to kill the big cat

Mumbai city news: Fearful villagers have insisted that the tigress be killed to prevent further attacks

mumbai Updated: Jul 05, 2017 18:11 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,man-eating tigress,Man-animal conflict
More than 150 camera traps have been laid and more than 100 personnel from four neighbouring forest ranges have been deployed to hunt the tigress.(HT File)

Angry villagers from south Bramhapuri in Chandrapur drove away a team of forest department officials and veterinarians who were trying to flesh out a man-eating tigress on Wednesday.

A tigress has killed five of Padmapur’s villagers and injured several others over the past month. A team seeking to tranquilise the big cat was picketed by an angry mob, which demanded that the animal be shot as soon as possible. The mob shouted slogans against the team and demanded that they “go back”. Sensing trouble, the team returned.

The trouble broke out after the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court quashed the forest department’s shoot-at-sight order against the tigress.

Man-animal conflict common
  • Man-animal conflict is common in Chandrapur district, home of the famous Tadoba tiger reserve. So far, tigers have killed 11 villagers in the district this year.
  • The villagers who were killed are Vithoba Upre, 68; Tarabai Tawde, 60; Pramila Borkar, 50; Sunanda Thakre, 52; Mangaldas Choudhury, 45; Meena Kolte, 28; Madhukar Tekram, 53; Shrisagari Thakre, 52; Devidas Bhoyar, 35; Vandana Ghadse, 46 and Maya P, 39.
  • Three others have been killed inside the Tadoba tiger reserves so far this year, sai dadditional principal chief conservator of forest, wildlife, Vidarbha region.

Responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Dr Jerryl Banait on Thursday, the high court said that though the life of person is more precious than that of animals, the department should try to tranquilise the beast before resorting to extreme steps.

The bench, comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Rohit Deo, termed the shoot-at-sight order “absolutely illegal” and said it “was passed without following the due process of law and in violation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s guidelines”. The bench said it was concerned that such an order had been passed without the animal being identified first.

Fearful villagers, however, insisted that the tigress be killed to prevent further attacks. Villagers said they were scared owing to increasing cases of man-animal conflict. They added that as they could no longer live in fear, they were willing to kill the tigress themselves if the forest department permitted them.

Three weeks ago, the forest department had formed three teams to tranquilise the big cat. The department hired expert shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan from Hyderabad to deal with the animal. Khan was involved in culling around 500 wild boars in Chandrapur’s forests last year. However, he has not yet been able to trace the animal yet.

More than 150 camera traps have been laid and more than 100 personnel from four neighbouring forest ranges have been deployed to hunt the tigress. She is reportedly aggressive and has charged at the hunting team thrice, said sources.

Earlier, the Chandrapur police shot a tiger that had killed seven villagers.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 18:04 IST