Dudhwa tigers attack village cattle
26 Nov 2008, 0411 hrs IST, Neha Shukla, TNN
LUCKNOW: As the harvesting season of sugarcane crop sets in, the tigers of Dudhwa have returned to haunt the locals yet again. The dense growth in sugarcane plantations which provided a shelter for the tigers is getting cleared, forcing them to venture into human habitations.
On Tuesday, two separate incidents were reported from the protected and reserve forest areas where the tigers had killed the village cattle. Both the villages, where incidents have taken place, are close to the sugarcane fields. After killing the cattle, the tigers retreated into the fields.
This has put the local forest staff on their toes to trap the wild cats before they claim their first human kill. The tigers have been making on-off appearance in the villages for the past two to three days. But, now after the kills, their presence is more than confirmed.
In the first incident, reported from Kishanpur village in the Kishanpur sanctuary of Dudhwa national park, a tigress killed a goat and retreated into the sugarcane belt. The forest staff is keeping a watch and trying to trap the beast before it turns into a man-eater. “We are at the spot trying to trap the animal,” said PP Singh, deputy director, Dudhwa.
Another tiger is on the prowl in Mohammadi range of South Kheri forest division. After a half-eaten body of a bull was found lying in Kutubpur village under Pasgawan development block on Tuesday, the forest staff and the local conservationists in the area have been on the vigil.
The bull, in all possibility, was killed on Monday night. Going by the tendency of the tiger to hover around its kill, the said animal is expected to be in the vicinity of the kill.
The prime concern of the forest team is not only to ensure the safety of the villagers but also that of the tiger as it is now under threat of a possible backlash by the villagers. “We are guarding the kill so that no one can poison it,” said a local forest staff.
The heavy rains and the floods that hit Dudhwa this season had brought a lot of tigers out of the forest area into the sugarcane belt. The heavy floods had washed away the tigers’ prey reducing the already-little prey base within the forest area.
Resultantly, tigers ventured out in the sugarcane belt for want of prey. Since the same is being cut now, tigers have only the village cattle to depend on.