It was a miraculous escape for a tribal forest guard at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) near Uthagamandalam on Tuesday. Attacked by a tiger while on patrol duty, he survived with injuries.
The guard M. Madhan (39) hailing from the Paniya tribal community along with six anti-poaching watchers was perambulating a part of the Mudumalai range of the reserve near Googulanarathi around noon. The guard who was at the tail of the patrol party suddenly screamed and others turned back to see him being attacked by a tiger.
They, according to M. Bomman another member of the group, had shouted and raised the shafts they were carrying. It resulted in the carnivore running into a secluded part of the lantana covered area.
Dazed, but conscious, the injured forest guard managed to walk with his team over a short distance from where he was taken to the Government Hospital in Gudalur. He was given first aid for injuries on his shoulder and hip before being shifted to the Government Headquarters hospital in Uthagamandalam.
Speaking to The Hindu, the Deputy Director, MTR A. Ameer Haja said that it was an unusual incident and added that the tiger was with a cub.
None in the patrol party knew from where the tiger had come.
He said that the injuries were not life threatening and added that the medical expenses would be borne by the department. Appropriate compensation would also be given.