A fisherman was killed by a tiger deep inside the forests of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve on Sunday.
Satyabrata Jana of Kultuli had gone fishing with four others in the Gazikhali forest area within the Sajnekhali wildlife sanctuary. They had spread their nets in the waters and were sitting on the land when a tiger attacked the group, Subrat Mukherjee, field director of Sunderban Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu over telephone.
“We have received reports of one person being killed by a tiger. They had gone fishing in the restricted area of the forest and did not have a permit for fishing,” Mr. Mukherjee said.
Since Mr. Jana was killed in the restricted areas of the forest, his family will not be eligible for the compensation that is given to victims of tiger attacks.
Illegal fishing in the restricted areas of the forest is a perennial problem that plagues the region and results in several incidents of man-animal conflict.
“The fishermen try their best to dodge the guards of the Forest Department and enter the restricted areas. Since they are flouting the rules they are not entitled to any compensation if any such incidents occur,” said Sarba Mondal, a resident of the Sunderban islands.
Mr. Mondal said that fishermen risk the wrath of both the forest guards and the tigers by entering the prohibited areas because the catch in the waters there is much higher than in the buffer zone.