A group of villagers allegedly killed a ten year old tigress in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR,) on Sunday evening. The reserve is situated 210 km from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The villagers were angry and marched on to kill the tigress, who allegedly attacked a man. Later, the man died in a hospital.
The residents of the Chaltua village allegedly beat up the reserve’s security guards, took control of a tractor and ran over the tigress. The villagers also hit the tigress with sticks.
It is said the villagers reside in the core area of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. They were in distress due to the attacks of the tigress since two weeks. The villagers also accused the forest authorities of not taking any action on their numerous complaints.
The Forest Department officials denied the allegations and said the tigress has never attacked anyone in the last 10 years and she attacked the victim only because he was invading her territory. In addition, the officials said the villagers, who live in the core area of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, were offered a proposal to relocate, but they denied it because of their dependency on forest produce.
Ramesh Pandey, the Field Director of DTR, said, “It is a clear case of tigress’ killing in cold blood. All the accused involved in the heinous act would be sent to jail. The tigress had attacked the victim, who was trespassing the forest area, which is an offence. We will also book all the accused of attacking forest staff, looting the forest department’s property and misusing it for killing the tigress. I have informed the principal chief Conservator of forest. We have managed to retrieve the body of the tigress from the village and an autopsy will be conducted by a panel of three doctors on Monday.”
The officials filed a complaint against the villagers and asked for a severe action against the massive killing of the endangered animal.
This is the second incident of the killing of a tiger in the last two days. Previously, a tigress named Avni was killed in Maharashtra, on Friday night. Avni was allegedly responsible for the death of 13 people in Pandharkawada. After an order by the Supreme Court, the forest officials, along with a hired killer Ali Asgar, shot Avni to death without tranquillizing her first.
Both the incidents raised a lot of criticism against the ineffectiveness of the wildlife conservation efforts in India. Celebrities and wildlife activists took to Twitter to express their anger against the killings.
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 5, 2018
— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) November 4, 2018
I’m ecstatic about the awakening in our collective conscience about #environment #Tigers through the case of #Avni these are my thoughts ending with one of the worst precedents being set for conservation thanks to political intervention & misplaced bureaucracy hiring a hunter pic.twitter.com/GuYRCJGr25
— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) October 17, 2018