Nov 9, 2014
PILIBHIT: Two villages in Pilibhit district are in the grip of fear after villagers sighted tigresses on different occasions recently.While a big cat ate a cow in Marauri village on Saturday afternoon, villagers of Takia saw a tigress and her two cubs roaming around in sugarcane fields.Shri Krishna, the Pradhan of Marauri village, told TOI that villagers were extremely scared and had taken to keeping night-long vigils and working in the fields with lances and other weapons to keep themselves safe.On Sunday, they kept a watchful eye out for the tigress from the scaffolds erected in their fields after February 18, when a tiger had mauled 40-year-old villager Bheem Sen in Marauri village and had seriously injured him.Some of the villagers, having bricked houses, stayed in the attic from dusk to dawn between Saturday and Sunday while others spent their night sitting inside their thatched huts in fear. The cow was attacked by the tigress about 100 metres away from the forest boundary. The distance between the forest and human habitation in Marauri village is hardly one kilometer, while the tigress in Takia village with her cubs was spotted about 500 metres away from human habitation. In this backdrop, officials of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve have chalked out an ambitious plan to provide training to villagers living in proximity of the forest belt. They plan is to teach villagers self defense in case of attack by wild animals and averting man-animal conflicts. The divisional forest officer of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR), Kailash Prakash, said a joint team of PTR and WWF, India will conduct a training programme in all the villages situated close to forest areas from December 1 to make villagers aware of preventive measures against wild creatures if they intrude in village areas. They would be taught how to prevent attacks by wild animals without hurting them.
He added that villagers would be taught about the nature and behavior of big cats, adding that tigers generally do not have a tendency to attack humans unless they are injured or very old. The DFO said the villagers can keep wildlife away by raising a huge racket, walking and working in groups and lighting fires. Explaining the reason for movement of big cats outside forest areas, Prakash said Pilibhit is a district with plenty of sugarcane cultivation even in areas adjacent to the forest belt. Sugarcane is a savoury food of the wild boar and because this wild animal is one of the main prey of big cats, they have ample possibilities to intrude into the sugarcane fields while chasing the wild boar, he added. He said another reason for straying of big cats was the safety of cubs as fields are like a safe hideout in case of attack by male tigers.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com