New Delhi: Human-wildlife conflict turned ugly in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Tiger Reserve after villagers beat a tiger to death and slit its throat, officials said on Thursday.
The feline was slaughtered two-and-a-half kilometres inside the tiger reserve’s core area under Mahof range, officials told IANS. The killed cat was an adult male. The carcass was recovered on Thursday. No arrests have been made.
“It seems a case of retaliatory killing. On Wednesday, a few villagers ventured deep inside the forest to collect firewood and had an encounter with a tiger,” Kailash Prasad, Divisional Forest Officer of Pilibhit told IANS.
“No one was killed but some were injured. They rallied and killed the tiger later during the day,” he said. This is the second tiger killing in the region in 2018.
Pilibhit has the highest rate of human fatalities caused by tigers. At least six persons have died till March in man-tiger encounter while 21 were killed by at least five different tigers in Pilibhit in 2017. One tiger was declared man-eater, caught and sent to Lucknow Zoo in February 2017. The carcass is being sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly.
The incident came to light a day after the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Wildlife Trust of India released a report pointing out that over 90 percent of the human-big cat conflict that led to death or injury to humans occurred because people ventured into critical tiger zones. According to the report, between 2000 and 2013, at least 49 people were killed and 24 were injured by tigers. Leopards killed 14 and injured 49.
The report called for reducing the conflict by suggesting reduction of free grazing inside territorial and buffer forest areas, capacity building in frontline forest staff and restoration of critical corridors connecting various forest patches in this landscape.