Tigers kill six Bangladeshis near Sundarbans

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Tigers kill six Bangladeshis near Sundarbans

Tuesday, March 18, 2008; 3:49 AM

KHULNA, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Tigers stalking into Bangladesh
villages around Sundarbans mangrove forests have killed six people
and mauled 12 others over the last two months, forest officials said
on Tuesday.

In the latest incident a fisherman was killed on Monday at Satkhali
village near the vast swampy forest some 500 km (312 miles) southwest
of the capital Dhaka.

The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Royal
Bengal tiger.

The victims were attacked while they were either fishing or farming
near the forests.

A tiger was trapped alive by people at Goripur village and handed
over to Forest Department to return it to the swampy forest.

In December a Royal Bengal tiger, an endangered species, was killed
in a confrontation with villagers at a village. Four people were also
injured in the confrontation.

Forest officials said tigers sneaking into villages mainly at night
has increased following the deadly cyclone that hit Bangladesh coasts
late last year.

“The straying of tigers has increased in recent months. Maybe they
are coming out of forests in search of food,” a senior forest
official said.

The forest was depleted of food by Cyclone Sidr, which struck the
Bangladesh coast on November 15 with winds of 250 kph (155 mph) and
killed about 3,500 people and made millions homeless.

At least 60 percent of the 6,000 sq km (2,320 sq mile) mangrove
swamps within Bangladesh, home for more than 400 Royal Bengal tigers,
was devastated by the cyclone, officials then said.

The Sundarbans stretch for a further 4,000 sq km (1,545 sq miles)
into India’s eastern state of West Bengal.



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