March 24, 2009 11:18:13 am
Even as the dwindling number of tigers in Assam has become a matter of concern,authorities in the state have shot dead a full-grown tiger near Jakhalabandha,just west of Kaziranga National Park (KNP),with Chief Wildlife Warden M C Malakar saying there was no way out but the kill him.
“We were compelled to issue orders to shoot the tiger as it had turned into a maneater. Our instructions,however,also said the animal should be tranquilised and captured if possible,but that did not happen,” Malakar told The Indian Express. The tiger was killed around noon after it killed at least four persons in the area in a span of five days.
The tiger,believed to have strayed out of Kaziranga in search of easy prey had turned maneater when it killed a person on March 19 in Sakmuthia village near Jakhalabandha. Since then there has been reports of at least two more human deaths due to tiger attacks.
When hundreds of people gathered after forest officials including Dr Prashanta Boro,a veterinarian with Wildlife Trust of India arrived in the village on Monday morning,the tiger pounced upon and killed a local person called Uttam Saikia. Two others were also injured as the tiger kept charging from inside a bamboo grove while the people gathered all around.
Interestingly,while both forest guards and policemen were engaged in the operation,one stray bullet also hit Boro of WTI,injuring him on his shoulder. Boro tried in vain for several hours to tranquilise the tiger but failed,mainly because the police failed to control the crowd that continued to provoke the tiger.
“It is unfortunate that we had to ultimately kill the tiger. Several attempts were made to tranquilise it,but since there was little scope to do so and since it had already turned a maneater,we had to finally shoot it down,”Malakar said. “It is not advisable to push back a tiger to its habitat once it turns a maneater,” he added.
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