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Tiger mauls 46-year-old to death at Tadoba tiger reserve

This was the first man-animal conflict at the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur.

mumbai Updated: May 12, 2017 00:12 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
tiger attacks man,man-animal conflict,Tadoba National Park
Last year, four people were killed by tigers in man-animal conflict situations(Picture for representation)

A 46-year-old firewatcher was mauled to death by a male tiger at the Tadoba range of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur, Maharashtra, on early Thursday morning, making it the first such man-animal conflict leading to death inside the reserve.

According to the forest department, Mangal Das Chaudhari, one of the 12 firewatchers under the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra, deputed close to the Tadoba lake, almost 20 kilometres into the national park, left for morning patrolling on Thursday. “Around 6am, while he was probably squatting or sitting, a male tiger attacked the man on his neck,and killed him on the spot,” said Kishore Mankar, deputy director, Tadoba core.

This takes the tally of deaths in the state to three in 2017. Last year, four people were killed by tigers in man-animal conflict situations. While there were no attacks in 2015, eight people were killed by tigers in 2014.

Read: Second tiger death in 7 days at Chandrapur, poaching ruled out

Soon after the incident, the forest department conducted a punchnama and a dairy entry was made at the local police station. “This is the first time the national park was notified that a tiger has attacked a human. Since there are no villages within the reserved forest, there was no question of an attack. However, the animal did not eat the body, which probably tells us that he did not realise that it was a human before attacking,” said Mankar adding, “The body was sent for post-mortem by 9am on Thursday morning.”

Mankar added that a compensation of Rs8 lakh will be given to the kin of the deceased.

Spread across 625.4 sq kilometres, the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve has a total of 88 tigers, of which the Taboda National Park (116.55 sq km) has close to 67 tigers.

Local forest officers said that the movement of tigers was much more than normal between Wednesday night and Thursday. “Since it was Budh Purnima (full moon night) on Wednesday, animals generally come out at night to drink water from local water bodies as they can see clearly. This tiger could have strayed and on coming in close proximity of this daily wager, the attack took place,” said the range forest officer, requesting anonymity.

625.40 sq km – Area of the entire Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

508.85 sq km – Area of the Andhari wildlife sanctuary

116.55 sq km – Area of the Tadoba National Park

- Notified in 1955, Tadoba is the oldest forest reserve in Maharashtra

- There are 88 tigers across the entire reserve and 67 at the Tadoba National Park

- The area where the conflict took place on Thursday morning has 5 tigers

- 65 main animal species - While the major attraction at the reserve is the tiger, large herds of chital, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, sloth bears, wild boars, hyenas and leopards are seen in large numbers at the reserve.

- There has been documentary evidence of Indian pangolins, antelopes and porcupines too at the reserve

- 195 species of birds have been recorded, including three endangered species. The Grey-headed fish eagle, the Crested Serpent Eagle, and the Changeable Hawk-Eagle are some of the raptors.

- 74 species of butterflies have been recorded including the pansies, monarch, Mormons and swordtails

Read: Tiger Jai’s son Srinivas found electrocuted in Maharashtra, forest officials suspect poaching

First Published: May 11, 2017 15:28 IST