A 52-year-old crab-catcher is suspected to have been killed by a tiger in Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, police said on Monday.
Basudeb Sarkar and two others from Kumirmari village in Sundarban Coastal Police station area had ventured into the national park to catch crabs on Sunday, an officer said.
One of the crab-catchers, Swapan Mondal, said the tiger attacked Sarkar from behind and dragged him deep into the forest, he said.
However, Sarkar’s body is yet to be found, the officer said.
“Prima facie, it seems the trio did not possess permits to catch crabs in the forest and had illegally entered it. If that is the case, the kin of the deceased will not be eligible for compensation,” a forest official said.
The export of crabs from Sundarbans to China has taken a hit due to COVID-19 outbreak. However, with crab markets reopening in Singapore and Hong Kong, crab-catching activities have resumed in the region, sources said.