'Maneater' triggers panic in West Champaran district
29 Jul 2008, 0300 hrs IST, Arun Kumar David,TNN
BETTIAH: The recent death of a person at the hands of a man-eating tiger has unleashed a reign of terror among people living on the fringes of the Valmikinagar Tiger Project in West Champaran. Villagers claim there is a man-eater on the project premises who kills villagers.
However, the chief conservator of forests, West Champaran, Bharat Jyoti said there was no man-eater within the the project precincts, adding that although there have been regular encounters between the two species, but there has been no news of tiger devouring any human.
"The tiger's attack may be out of aggressive behaviour or insecurity on its part. It is when people interfere with its style of living or someone going into its sanctuary that it attacks," he said.
Jyoti said people do not realize that they are encroaching the domain of the tiger making the tiger feel insecure complicating the matter.
"I visited the Doan area and night patrolled the area to alert the people, asking them to stay away from the core area of the Valmiki Tiger Project," said Jyoti adding that the SSB jawan killed by a tiger on May 12, 2008, had also been warned by him.
He said that pamphlets with clear-cut instructions have been distributed in the villages situated on the outskirts of the project to stop the people going into the core area.
"The tigers who killed people in the past never came to the villages or open fields and carried the deceased nor they ever punctured the neck to kill them," he said adding the attack was with their claws.
With the rapid growth in human population, there is alarming interference in the jungles, making the wild cats feel insecure, said S Chandrashekhar DFO 1, adding the cat may become furious if it has cubs with it.
Naturally, the habitat that nurtured the big cats for centuries is inviting less attention today. As a fallout, there has been great loss of forest habitat and requires conservation efforts on the part of the government, sources said.
In the backdrop of the current scenario, an Indicative Tiger Conservation has been mooted that addresses some vital issues pertaining to short and long-term measures for safeguarding the tiger sanctuary, said Jyoti adding that it has been proposed to double the core critical area.
Talks are on for creating a buffer zone. At least 150 villages are to be included in the buffer zone increasing the overall management of the Tiger Project to 1500 sq km.
Within this specified area, a number of micro plans have been proposed that may help conservation of the habitat, said Jyoti.