Missing tribal man found mauled to death

The incident happened in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve.

The incident happened in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve.   | Photo Credit: file photo

A Jenu Kuruba tribal, who was reported missing since Monday evening, was found mauled to death at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on Tuesday.

The victim was identified as Jagadish, 65, from Neralakuppe B haadi or hamlet in Hunsur taluk of Mysuru district.

Mahesh Kumar, Director, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu that a search-and-comb operation was launched early in the day to trace the missing tribal. This was after some of his belongings, like an umbrella, towel and slippers, were found strewn in a radius of 30 metres in the Mudanahalli State Forest of the Hunsur Wildlife range, which is part of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve.

After a few hours of scouring the area, the authorities recovered a few human body parts which confirmed fears that Jagadish may have been a victim of a tiger attack. The suspicion stemmed from a few cattle killings attributed to a tiger that was reported from the area recently.

The remains of the victim were handed over to the family members and the last rites took place late in the evening. Mr. Mahesh Kumar said Jagadish was spotted by the local range officer and guards venturing into the forest a few days ago and was cautioned against it given the risk of wildlife encounter. “He ignored our warning which led to this unfortunate development,” the forest officer added.

Though victims killed in wildlife encounters outside the forest limits are eligible for compensation from the State, the authorities in this case have written to the government seeking clarification as the incident took place inside the forest.

Sources said local villagers tend to take their cattle inside the forest for grazing which is not only illegal but also abets human-animal conflict. Though such incidents have reduced over the years, it has not completely abated either.

Meanwhile, combing operations will continue from Wednesday to trap and capture the tiger which has already been identified from the database of the camera trap images. Mr. Mahesh Kumar said this tiger was first identified in 2012 and it was around two to three years old then. Hence, it is now 10 to 11 years old and having tasted human blood it posed a risk to human habitation.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 2:29:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/missing-tribal-man-found-mauled-to-death/article31680785.ece

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