A senior official of the National Tiger Conservative Authority (NTCA) paid a visit in the Bagghora forest under Lalgarh forest area in West Midnapore, today, to investigate the cause of the death of a Royal Bengal Tiger, which was found with multiple injury marks around 16 months ago on 13 April, 2018.

Mr W. Langva, IG of Eastern region, NTCA, reached Midnapore yesterday and convened a meeting with the forest officials to gather information about the causes of the unnatural death of the big cat. Today, he along with forest officials reached the site where the tiger was found dead and conducted a probe into this matter.

The reason of the death has not yet been confirmed by the forest officials but villagers pointed to wounds just above its right leg and claimed it was caused by a spear. There were several bleeding wounds, including one in the neck from which part of a spear was still jutting out when the carcass was found.

The big cat’s body was found within a few kilometres of the Madhupur forest where it was first sighted by camera traps set up by the forest department. Locals said the tiger injured two villagers at around 10 a.m. when a group of tribal people entered the forest to hunt animals and birds as part of their ongoing hunting festival. A few tribal hunters suddenly came across the tiger sitting idle at the place where it had injured three villagers a few days before. Before they could escape, the tiger attacked the hunters injuring two – Bablu Hansda and Badal Hansda. The duo was taken to the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital where condition of one of them was stated to be critical. Later, the villagers attacked it with spears, hatchets and other weapons. “It’s an unfortunate incident. There was a possibility of confrontation between the animal and the thousands of locals who live in the area and go inside the forests regularly. But it must be admitted that capturing the tiger was not an easy job,“ said Atanu Raha, the state’s former principal chief conservator of forests. “I don’t think the cat was killed by professional poachers.” Local people taking part in the ongoing hunting festival killed it, most likely,” he added.

While reacting to a question, Mr Langva said, “The death of a tiger in our country is a very important thing. I have taken information from all corners and it will be analysed whether the villagers had killed the big cat or not. The forest department had laid traps but the tiger was found dead within two days. I will submit a report regarding this matter to the appropriate authority soon”.