A tribal tending to his cattle was mauled to death by a tiger in Seegodu Haadi in H.D. Kote on Friday on the outskirts of Bandipur National Park in Mysore district.
The victim was identified as Cheluva (35) who belonged to the Jenu Kuruba tribal community who died on the spot due to the injuries sustained by the tiger attack. This is the second human death reported from the same region in the last 48 hours, after a farmer was killed under similar circumstances at Nadaadi Haadi on Wednesday. Both the villages are very close to each other and hence it is suspected that the same tiger could be involved.
H.C. Kantharaj, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu that Cheluva and Chikka were tending to the cattle near the hamlet when the tiger attacked them at around 10.30 a.m. While Chikka escaped with injuries, Cheluva died on the spot.
Mr. Kantharaj said all people living in the hamlets on the fringes of the forests are being told not to venture too close to the tiger reserve till the animal was captured. “We are stepping up security in the vicinity and plan to tranquilize the tiger and capture it”, he said.
Meanwhile, four elephants from Bandipur have been brought to Seegodu to capture the tiger. Elephants Jayaprakash, Kanthi, Teresa have already left Bandipur and another tusker was expected to join them later in the day.
“The elephants are expected to reach the village by evening after which they will camp their till the tiger was captured and plans are to shift it to Bannerghatta”, said Mr. Kantharaj. Senior forest department staff and veterinarians are also being deployed to participate in the operations.
It is now being suspected that the tiger, which has claimed two lives so far, was either too old to hunt or has been injured in a territorial fight with another dominant male. Hence the tiger could repeatedly be straying into human space to prey on domestic cattle and in the process has killed two people.
Wildlife activists, who visited Nadaadi and interacted with the farmers, claimed the tiger was emaciated.
The forest department has announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the family members of Cheluva of which Rs. One lakh will be paid on Friday and the remaining amount after the completion of post mortem and other formalities.