Thailand hunts for killer tiger
Terrified Thai villagers were on Tuesday hunting a tiger suspected of killing two people in less than a week after a woman was mauled to death in a rubber plantation near the site of an earlier attack.
9:47AM GMT 04 Dec 2012
Pranee Mahasuk, 43, was slashed on the face and back in front of her husband as the pair tapped rubber shortly before midnight on Monday, said Urupong Chanakul, deputy chief of Betong district in Thailand’s southern Yala province.
He said the woman’s husband had tried to help her by shooting at the big cat, but had been forced to climb a tree for safety.
“He spent the whole night up the tree. He said the tiger came back to eat his wife after he shot at it, so he fired at it again and it ran off,” Urupong told AFP.
Last week the footprints of an adult and young tiger were seen near where 44-year-old Hyaya Seng was found headless with deep scratches across his body at another plantation in Yala near the border with Malaysia.
“It is likely that the same tiger killed the victim last week,” Urupong said, adding the latest incident was 10 kilometres (six miles) away from the previous one.
He said authorities and about 200 villagers had launched a search for the tiger, adding that the aim was to push the creature further into the remote mountainous border area rather than kill it.
Thailand, a hub of international wildlife smuggling, is one of just 13 countries hosting fragile tiger populations. Fewer than 300 tigers remain in the wild in Thailand, according to wildlife group WWF.
Bengal tiger kills rubber tapper
Wild Bengal tigers continue to terrorise residents of Yala’s Betong district, with one more villager mauled to death while she was tapping rubber trees early yesterday.
Some 100 villagers from tambon Ayer Weng fled the area for fear of their safety.
Pol L tColonel Mutafa Mani, acting inspector at Ayer Weng Police Station, and Urupong Chanakun, assistant district clerk, examined the body of Pranee Mahasuk at Betong Hospital.
Her husband Boontham said he heard his wife scream and ran to see her grappling with the 200kilogram tiger, so he climbed a tree and fired a shotgun five times at it until it left.
He waited a while before climbing down and taking his wife to the hospital.
Police blockaded the area and hunted for the tiger, believed to be wounded.