Via – Tiger Protection Society
People in four villages around the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh have been too terrified to venture out for work in the past five days. The reason: Tigers from BTR have been coming into these villages even as forest department officials watch helplessly.
One of the striped visitors was the famous Bamera tiger — believed to be one of the largest male tigers in country. It strayed 8km away from the protected area on Tuesday evening, entered a house at Kachoha village and killed a cow. As villagers pelted stones at it, the animal took shelter in a house, said sources.
Frequent instances of tigers straying into villages indicate a rise in tiger population apart from shrinking of forests, said Pushpendra Diwedi, who runs an NGO aimed at creating awareness about conservation in Umaria.
“An upsurge in tiger population is forcing the older big cats to move out of the forest. More tigers are getting killed in territorial fights as space in the forest becomes limited,” Diwedi said.
He said incidents of tigers straying into villages have increased in the past four months.
A 35-year-old cowherd was attacked by a tigress that strayed out in November last year. Hariar Baiga was grazing buffaloes near his village Dulhera, on the periphery of the national park, when the tigress pounced on him from behind the bushes. Hearing Hariar’s cries, five villagers rushed to his rescue and forced the big cat to drop its prey and dart back into the forest.
“The tigress was trying to drag him inside the jungle,” said Kaushal Singh, a local villager. Villagers claimed the tigress has turned into a man-eater and has unleashed terror in the region ever since it strayed out of the park.
Earlier, on August 12, another cowherd was attacked by the tigress that strayed into Kachhoa village a day after it killed a cow. The cowherd had taken his employer and two villagers on Sunday morning to the spot where the big cat made the kill.
According to forest officials, Ramadhar Yadav, 70, went too close to the kill unaware that the tigress was hiding in the bushes nearby. The tigress pounced upon him and tried to drag him towards the forest. As a hapless Yadav screamed for help, the 10 buffaloes he had taken out for grazing gathered around and attacked the tigress, forcing it to flee, said sources.