A male tiger crossing over from Maharashtra or Chhattisgarh forest regions is suspected to have killed the man Sidam Vignesh from Digada village of Dahegam mandal in Kumrambheem Asifabad district on Wednesday.
A team from the Telangana State forest department which has inspected the site deep inside the forest where the body was spotted, found pugmarks of a male tiger. Postmortem report late in night too has confirmed death due to wild animal attack.
The pug marks collected are being sent to the Forest Departments of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, for comparison with their resident tigers, and verification if any of them is missing from there.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Forces R. Sobha has categorically denied the reports that it was the doing of a homebred tiger K8 in Kagaznagar forest division. K8 is a female, moving afar in Penchikalpet area, while the pug marks were of a male tiger.
“The tigers staying in Adilabad and Asifabad forests are of very calm nature. They only kill herbivore wild animals and cattle. They are not under any stress,” she said.
While Maharashtra has several man-eating tigers, officials are yet to confirm the feline as one among them. A tiger can be declared man-eater only after repeated kills, they say. In the present case, it is not yet confirmed if the animal was stalking its victim before charging.
“It could have been accidental too. The man was collecting leaves and seeing him in bent position, the tiger might have mistaken him to be another animal,” says an official under the condition of anonymity.
On the other hand, if the beast was stalking him, the matter would assume utmost gravity. In any case, as the animal had consumed part of the body before being disturbed, efforts are on full swing to trap it. Cages with baits and camera traps are being deployed in order to capture it, and caution has been sounded in the surrounding villages about movement of the tiger. Forest staff and animal trackers have been placed round the clock in villages such as Kamargoan, Digada, Rampur, Shankarapur, Loha and Motlaguda, officials informed.