Elusive tiger kills 42-year-old man in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagara district
Angered villagers staged a protest against the forest department while accusing it of failing to protect farmers from the threats of wild animal.
42-year-old farmer has been killed by a tiger while working in his fields in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) area of Chamarajanagara district, forest officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, adding that they have intensified the search operation for the tiger who earlier attacked another villager.
According to forest officials, the incident occurred at the Moleyur range forest area in Saraguru taluk in Chamarajanagara district. The victim has been identified as Balaji Nayka, a 42-year-old farmer and former gram panchayat member from Kadabeguru village under B Matakere gram panchayat.
“The incident took place at 1.30 pm on Monday when Nayaka was working at his ginger field. A focused operation had been underway since November 1 to track down the elusive tiger, and photographic evidence obtained from trap cameras was shared with higher authorities to confirm the identity of the big cat from their records,” the officer said.
The farmer was working at his farm, situated within the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, when a tiger emerged from the forest and attacked the farmer. After the attack, the tiger dragged Nayka’s body to the nearby forest. A shepherd, who eye-witnessed the attack, promptly raised the alarm, official added.
In response to this attack, angered villagers staged a protest against the forest department while accusing it of failing to protect farmers from the threats of wild animal.
The rain in the area delayed the post-mortem examination of the body. Subsequently, Tehsildar Parashivamurthy, sub inspector (SI) Nandish Kumar, and other officials were alerted about the incident. They visited the location to assess the situation.
BTR director Ramesh Kumar said that the operation to catch the tiger has been expedited by deploying additional personnel since Tuesday. “The first priority is to identify the man-eating tiger before attempting to capture it. More than 60 forest personnel, drone cameras, and two elephants have been employed in the ongoing operation,” he said.
Kumar also added that aged tigers are more likely to attack humans as they identify them as an easy prey, especially when they can no longer hunt effectively due to their advanced age.
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