Villagers blocked vehicular traffic for hours on the Sulthan Bathery-Udhagamandalam Interstate Highway at Pazhoor on the Kerala Tamil Nadu border, on Thursday morning seeking protection from wild animal attacks.
The protesters carried the carcass of a buffalo killed in the morning reportedly in tiger attack. The animal owned by Shamsudheen of Padinhare panachiyil.
The animal was tethered to a tree in a private plantation for grazing around 6 a.m. Around 8 a.m., when Mr. Shamsudheen went to fetch the animal, it was reportedly not there. But, he saw a wild cat moving in the nearby jungle. In a search by the villagers, they found the partially-eaten carcass of the cattle. The protesters said a big cat was sighted in various parts of the area adjacent to the Muthanga range of forest under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, but the sanctuary officials were yet to adopt any measures to tackle it.
The protesters staged a road blockade at Cheeral town for around 10 minutes, before blocking the interstate highway in front of the Pazhoor forest check-post.
Traffic on the road was affected for nearly three hours following the protest.
Later, Sulthan Bathery tahsildar M.J. Sunny, wildlife warden A.P. Sajan, and Nenmeni grama panchayat president C.R. Karappan held discussions with the protesters and promised that fair compensation would be provided to the farmer for the loss of his cattle and a cage would be set up in the area to trap the tiger. The officials would recommend erection of rail-fencing in the area to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Patrolling by forest officials would be intensified in the area.