Boy killed in tiger attack in Kodagu

Third such death in recent weeks

A boy was killed and a plantation worker seriously injured in a tiger attack at Belluru village in Ponnampet taluk of Kodagu district on Monday. The victim was identified as Rangaswamy (8) while his grandfather, Kencha, was injured and has been hospitalised.

This is the third human death owing to tiger attack in Kodagu district since the last 3 weeks and has resulted in widespread anger against the authorities for their ‘failure’ to curb human-animal conflicts.

Apart from tiger attacks which has take a serious turn since the last few years, the area is known to be in the news constantly for human-elephant conflicts. The local community have complained that at least 16 animals have been killed by the tiger on the prowl.

The outgoing Conservator of Forests, T.Hiralal, said they have identified the tiger which is about 10 years old and is now ensconced in a sacred grove (devara kaadu). The combing operations are on and the tiger has been cornered, he added.

When pointed out that they had trapped another tiger under similar circumstances when two persons were killed in a span of 12 hours, he said there are reasons to believe that this is a different tiger and they had not captured the wrong tiger three weeks ago as suspected by the local community.

“The tiger trapped almost 3 weeks ago and shifted to the wildlife rescue centre in Mysuru was an injured animal unable to hunt while this is a different tiger’’, said Mr. Hiralal.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has issued permission to shoot and put down the tiger but only as a last resort in case efforts to tranquilise and shift it failed.

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