National park tiger killed during riot
Published Date: 31 March 2009
By Dielle D'Souza
A tiger from an Indian national park had to be shot dead amid chaotic scenes of rioting villagers after it killed two people and injured two others.
It is the tenth tiger to have been killed at the Kaziranga National Park world heritage site in the past three months.
The tiger entered a village near Kaziranga in the state of Assam and killed a man. It was trying to feed on him when villagers chased it away. A forest department team armed with tranquillisers found it yesterday hiding in a bamboo grove outside the park boundaries.
However, more than 1,000 armed villagers gathered and surrounded the grove calling for the tiger to be killed. For three hours forest guards and vets could not get a shot to tranquillise the animal as the mob grew angrier. Police were also called.
The villagers refused to make way for the guards or the vets and one group reportedly ignored warnings and entered the grove. One was killed by the tiger in front of the horrified crowd after he attacked it with a machete.
Police fired blank shots to disperse the mob.
In the ensuing chaos, a bullet from a police weapon hit a Wildlife Trust of India vet in the arm.
Dr Bibhab Talukdar, trustee of the National Board for Wildlife, said that people in general were responsible for the incident.
"The civil authorities need to send more people to control crowds to prevent incidents like this."