Another tiger strays into Sunderbans village
21 Jan 2009, 0324 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Kamal Chakra got the scare of his life the moment he saw whiskers and then the fiery eyes of a tiger less than 10 feet away. The big cat was walking past some tree trunks of the Bish Nombor forest before entering Bhubaneswari village in Kultali, late on Tuesday afternoon.
Kamal, a crab-catcher in his thirties, simply left the iron stick he was using to catch crabs near the mouth of the river Oriwannala and ran for his life.
Kamal screamed his lungs out to alert the villagers and then fell unconscious. Villagers , led by local leader Mahadeb Mondal, carried him to his hut and sprinkled water on his face to help him regain consciousness. Even as the women tried to nurse him back to his senses, the men set out for the river embankment, from where they spotted the tiger on the prowl.
The incident occurred just days after a meeting – presided over by the chief minister – discussed the problem of straying tigers.
Kultali police station and the forest department were informed and both sent teams to the village by the evening. The villagers, meanwhile, stayed put in their homes. As some kept a close watch on the tiger’s movements, others started preparing for a fight with the animal. They brought out iron rods, sticks and whatever else they could possibly use as a weapon against the big cat.
Darkness was descending on the village by then and villagers lit kerosene lamps. By then, the forest department team had reached the village with a cage. When reports last came in, the team and the villagers were still on the alert, but felt that the real battle would begin on Wednesday morning as any operation was impossible in the dark.
ON THE BIG CAT’S TRAIL
A tiger strays into a Gosaba village . Forest officials tranquillize it. The tiger dies
A tiger enters Annepur. It is trapped with a bait and released later
A lame tiger enters a Jharkhali village . It is trapped and sent to Alipore zoo hospital. Six months later, it is shifted to Khairbari Tiger Rehabilitation Centre
A tigress enters a Kultali village and injures four villagers. It is tranquillized and dies later
A tigress strays into a Gosaba village. Forest officials fasten a radio collar round its neck and release it