Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Another tigress crushed to death by angry villagers near Dudhwa

The killing of a second tigress in less than a week is likely to raise a debate over the effectiveness of conservation efforts in India

LUCKNOW, Nov 5: In the wake of the shooting down of Avni, a man-eating tigress in Maharashtra, another tigress was beaten to death and run over in an Uttar Pradesh village on Sunday after it mauled a man, who died in hospital. Avni, is believed to have killed 13 people in the last two years in a forest in Maharashtra.

The tigress reportedly attacked a 50-year-old man near the Dudhwa tiger reserve around 210 km from Lucknow. In the wake of the incident, angry villagers marched to the core area of the park, allegedly beat up forest guards, snatched a tractor and then ran over the 10-year-old tigress. They also hit the animal with heavy sticks. “The 50-year-old man was mauled as he was going to his village, crisscrossing the jungle. Then some anti-social elements got together and beat the tigress to death. We have identified those responsible and we are going to file an FIR against them and get them arrested,” said Mahavir Kojilangi, director, Dudhwa National Park.

The human-animal confrontation is attributed to the deep inroads the villagers have made into the buffer zone surrounding the protected tiger reserve. Forest department officials say the tigress has never attacked people in the last 10 years. Officials have told the police to take action against the villagers who killed the endangered animal. The villagers say the animal had been attacking their livestock for two weeks and they were terrified. They said they had complained to forest officials about the tigress several times.

The killing of a second tigress in less than a week intensifies the debate over the effectiveness of conservation efforts in India. The incident has had strong reactions from animal activists, actors and others on social media. Actor Randeep Hooda tweeted a photo of the tigress killed by the villagers.

On Sunday, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi lashed out at the BJP-led Maharashtra government for ordering the “ghastly murder” of tigress Avni, and also said she would speak to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the earliest.  Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted a message on animal rights, spoken long ago by Mahatma Gandhi.

A report by the National Tiger Conservation Authority estimated the tiger population in India at 2,226 after a comprehensive nationwide count in 2014. The authority in collaboration with state forest departments, non-profit groups and the Wildlife Institute of India conducts a national assessment on tigers every four years.

Dudhwa tigress

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