Nihi Sharma Sahani, Hindustan Times
Dehradun, January 27, 2011
A male tiger was shot dead on Thursday afternoon in Ramnagar forest division, post protest from villagers of Sunderkhal adjoining Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR).
A man-eating big cat reportedly killed a 27-year-old young man late on Wednesday evening. As a result, Sunderkhal villagers not only blocked National Highway 121 (Ramnagar-Ranikhet) on Thursday morning but also pelted stones at forest officials.
Facing huge pressure, forest staff immediately undertook combing on elephants to trace the man-eating tiger. Within few hours combing staff found a tiger near the spot where body parts of victim were recovered. Giving no second thought, they shot the animal dead.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ravindra Juyal division forest officer (DFO) Ramnagar informed, "The tiger was found in Devijaudkhatta where victim's body parts were recovered. We immediately shot the animal dead before it could take more lives."
Wild Life Experts have expressed shock over the way tiger was killed on Thursday.
"The tiger was about 7 years old and was shot 25-30 times. It is barbaric," noted Brijendra Singh member National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Notably, a fortnight ago forest authorities gave orders to kill a man-eating tigress that killed a woman of Sunderkhal village. The decision was taken when agitated villagers staged protest and demanded immediate eviction of the animal.
In great hurry, forest department then shot a tigress but couldn't recover its body. It was assumed that the animal must have been injured, though not dead. However, the fresh killing of tiger has raised several questions on forest department.
When the orders to kill man-eating tigress were given by forest authorities, how can they shoot a tiger dead on the basis of same notification? Why has the department failed to recover the body of the injured tigress?
It is learnt that within a period of two months, the fifth human death was reported on Wednesday due to tiger attack.
"No fresh orders were given to kill the man-eating tiger. We carried forward earlier orders of killing," Ravindra Juyal added.