Telangana launches the hunt for the man-eating tiger that killed a tribe
Authorities in the Telangana Forest Department issued a high alert in the villages and hamlets surrounding the Kawal tiger sanctuary in the Asifabad-Kumaram Bheem district, a day after a tiger killed a 21-year-old tribe on Wednesday.
Sidam Vignesh, who went to the forest area with two others to graze cattle, was attacked by a tiger in Digida village of Dahegaon block. The tiger grabbed the young man by the neck and went into the forest. Vignesh’s mutilated body was found by his friends, Bolishetty Naveen and Sidam Srikanth, and other villagers later that night.
Forest department authorities say it is the rarest of the rare incidents in the Telangana forests.
“At least, I have not come across any tiger injuring human beings, let alone killing them in my 25 years of service. I’m amazed at how it happened, ”a Shankaran, a special service (wildlife) officer at the forest department told the Hindustan Times.
Apparently, the tiger had eaten some meat from Vignesh’s body before leaving him. “There are no man-eaters in our forests. So it’s shocking for us. It may be that the tiger was too hungry and had not found its prey for a long time, ”he said.
He said that there was also the possibility that the tiger mistook Vignesh for an animal, as he was in a hunched position behind the bushes. “There are at least four tigers in the forests that move between the Kawal tiger reserve and the Tadoba tiger reserve in Maharashtra.
“They travel 10 to 12 kilometers in a period of 10 hours. There have been incidents of tigers preying on livestock in tribal villages adjacent to the forests, but it has never happened before to kill a man, ”said Shankaran.
Vighnesh’s death sparked waves of panic among tribal peoples in the area, who immediately alerted local forest officials and the police, who launched a tiger hunt. “We have placed two trap cages together with bait to catch the bobcat. We will put two more on Friday and we are sure to catch the tiger, ”said the forestry official.
Once the tiger is captured, forest officials will respond to a call on what to do after consulting with the authorities of the National Tiger Reserve. “We will decide whether we should leave the animal deep in the woods or hand it over to the zoo authorities,” Shankaran said.
The forest department announced an amount of Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia to Vighnesh’s family. “We will release the amount after the formalities are completed by the local revenue staff,” Shankaran said.