The incident took place about 300 m away from Bandipur National Park boundary

A farmer was mauled to death by a tiger at Nadadi village in H.D. Kote taluk of Mysore district on Wednesday.

Basavaraju (45) was working in his agricultural field when he was attacked by the tiger around 11 a.m. He died of head injuries sustained during the attack.

H.C. Kantharaj, director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu that the incident took place about 300 metres away from the Bandipur National Park boundary. Another farmer who was tilling land using a tractor had claimed that he had seen the animal and identified it as tiger, he said.

“Our staff visited the village and identified the pug parks. A claw was embedded in the victim’s scalp... The animal is definitely a tiger,” Mr. Kantharaj said. The tiger did not bite the farmer but took a swipe at him with its forearm, in what is suspected to be a panic attack in self-defence. Basavaraju died of the injuries sustained in the process, he added.

“This is not only a rare case of a tiger killing a human being but also the first human casualty in the man-animal conflict reported from Bandipur this year (2013–14),” Mr. Kantharaj said.

Compensation

He said the department would provide Rs. 5 lakh in cash to Basavaraju’s family. “While Rs. 1 lakh was given on Wednesday itself, the rest will be released after the post-mortem,” he said.

Conservation biologist Sanjay Gubbi suspected that the tiger must have been old and surviving on the forest fringes by feeding on livestock.

If the animal was incapable of hunting wild prey efficiently, it would see domestic livestock as easier prey, he said, and added that this, however, could be ascertained only if the tiger was properly seen or photographed.

H.D. Kote taluk abuts both Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks and man-animal conflict is intense in the region. The conflict, however, was hitherto confined to elephants straying from their habitats in search of fodder and water.