Close on the heels of the killing of two tribals by a tiger at Bandipur, a forest watcher at Nagarahole was found dead in the early hours of Saturday in what is suspected to be a case of tiger attack.
The guard B.Suresh (26), who was recently recruited as a permanent watcher at the Balle-Moorkal camp on the west of Nagarahole in Kodagu district.
Sources said that Suresh had gone out to fetch firewood to kindle a fire while his colleagues were inside the camp after the evening patrol duties. But they panicked when Suresh did not return for a long time and alerted their superior officers who ordered a search operation.
His body was found on Saturday morning about 200 meters from the camp with injury marks on the head and limbs and there were traces of the animal dragging him to a considerable distance. Sources said there were pug marks in the vicinity and other forest guards of the camp are learnt to have heard tiger growling in the vicinity on Friday night leading to suspicion that Suresh could have been attaacked by a tiger.
The latest tiger attack has taken place about 30 km from the Seegewadi haadi in H.D.Kote taluk where two people have died in a span of 48 hours.
Though there were speculations that the same tiger could have killed Suresh, it has been described as “highly unlikely” as the two incidents have taken place nearly 30 km apart. Though a tiger can easily cover long distances, they are territorial in nature. Distance apart, there are lot of agricultural fields and a few water bodies that has to be crossed in the process to reach Nagarahole range from Seegewadi haadi where a Jenu Kuruba tribal was killed on Friday. The tiger at H.D.Kote was also suspected to be old and infirm and hence there are questions about its ability to cover the distance within a short time.
A complaint has been lodged with the Kutta police and senior officials of the forest department are reaching the spot.