Roar for Tigers

UP forest officials give safe passage to tigress, two cubs, save them from lynching

UP forest officials give safe passage to tigress, two cubs, save them from lynching

Mar 20, 2014

Pilibhit: Armed with spears and lathis, an angry crowd of villagers was about to hunt down a tigress which had mauled yet another farmer in the region but was stopped in the nick of time by forest officials, who then coaxed the big cat and her two cubs into a nearby forest. Local ranger Khurshid Alam and WWF project officer Naresh Kumar reached Basantpur village in Pilibhit district just in time to persuade the villagers to fall back and not go ahead with their plan to burn the tigress and her cubs on Wednesday, Kumar said. After the villagers gave in and retreated from the spot in the evening, the forest staff and WWF team pushed the tigress into a nearby forest area, which is barely 500 metres from the spot. The villagers are, however, not breathing easy, with five tiger attacks taking place within a span of one month in villages near Mala forest range. The latest attack, on farmer Rajender who sustained injuries, has made them even more vigilant. They have started to work in groups and have armed themselves with long sticks, cudgels and lances while tending to their fields.

They have also erected scaffolds to keep a vigil from dawn to dusk. A villager recalled that a similar situation had occurred eight years ago when a tiger had taken shelter inside an abandoned pond which was surrounded by armed villagers. Even then, the local forest staff had rescued the big cat and pushed it safely back into the forest.

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