TNN, Jan 8, 2011, 05.46am IST
LUCKNOW: The man-animal conflict has once again raised its ugly head. A 60-year-old man is the latest casualty to the big cat.
According to officials, the incident took place in Katarniaghat on Thursday morning. The fact that the body was intact and not consumed by the big cat gives some sense of respite to forest officers in the area.
"This is not a case of man-eating," said MK Shukla, Range Officer, Katarniaghat. 60-year-old Saligram, resident of Belahanpura village, was killed at around 10:30 on Thursday morning, when he had gone to work in his sugarcane field. The man had gone alone to the field.
The pugmarks found around the body appear to be of a tigress. In all possibilities, the tigress was already present in the dense sugarcane field, when the man reached the spot and was attacked by the tigress in retaliation.
The man had injury marks on his neck and died of excessive bleeding. A compensation of Rs 10,000 was released immediately to his family. Another Rs 1 lakh as compensation will be given by the state government once the formalities are done. The incident took place in compartment 4 of Sadar beat near Girijapuri barrage. The incident of this nature has not occurred in the area in recent past.
But the villagers have been alerted to follow precautions while venturing into sugarcane fields, especially when alone. When men move in groups, they mostly alert the tiger of their presence and in that case the big cat will avoid coming close to them.
Katarniaghat has a sizable population of big cats, both tigers and leopards. The tigers being present in sugarcane field is a common phenomenon in terai belt. Mostly, tigress with cubs are present in the fields. The killings taking place during the day are mostly the ones where tigers charge in retaliation when they are consciously or unconsciously disturbed.
In most of the incidents, where tigers have killed men in the recent past, big cats have not ventured out of the forest area. On the contrary, men have entered forests and got killed.
The officers said that since tigers live in the core area of the forests, they do not venture out of forest unless they turn into compulsive maneaters.
The forest department has increased the vigil in the area in order to avoid even the remotest chance of a similar incident happening again. The area has some villages in its vicinity.