A tiger that strayed into a village in Madhya Pradesh killed a farmer during the chaos after a group of villagers tried to chase the animal away.
The incident happened in Khushiyali village of Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district on Wednesday evening.
The victim, identified as Santosh Bhaskare and other villagers were trying to chase away a tiger that had strayed out of Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary in the Jalgaon district of North Maharashtra and entered the village that falls in Chiriya forest range in the neighbouring state.
“After entering the Chiriya range, the tiger preyed on an animal and wanted to rest. The feline remained stationed in an agriculture field for nearly four hours in Khushiyali village,” Bhikangaon’s sub-divisional forest officer (SDO) Dinesh Vaskel said.
After the tiger was spotted in a field in the village, a group of villagers armed with sticks tried to chase it away.
They managed to chase the tiger for some distance, after which the big tired cat slowed down.
At this point, Bhaskare used the stick and reportedly poked the tiger on its tail.
But before he could react, the hurt tiger struck back with its massive claws leaving him seriously injured on the neck.
The 35-year-old who was rushed to a hospital died on Thursday.
It is unclear if he deliberately poked the tiger’s tail or was trying to hit the ground with a stick.
“The tiger strayed into the Chiriya forest area of Khargone district from Yawal and when villagers tried to scare away the big cat by using sticks, it attacked them, seriously injuring one of them,” Khargone’s divisional forest officer (DFO) Prashant Singh said.
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Meanwhile, the tiger is still elusive and efforts to locate it and send it back to Yawal have so far remained unsuccessful.
Following the death of Bhaskare, forest officials are monitoring the tiger’s movement and have appealed to villagers not to trouble the big cat.
It is not uncommon for big cats from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the two states with the highest tiger population, to stray to the other side.
However, due to the fragmentation of their habitats and corridors, such migrations can result in human-tiger conflicts, with deadly consequences on both sides.
A recent report said that the loss of forest land in Madhya Pradesh has resulted in the dispersal of tigers into human settlements and has caused a decline in the tiger population.
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