Tiger that killed four Indian villagers dies after straying into electric fence

Indian court had issued a shoot-to-kill order against the two-year-old female tiger after its latest victim, a woman, died earlier this month

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 3:02pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 8:25pm

A tiger which killed four villagers in central India has died after being electrocuted, an official said Sunday, ending a hunt by armed rangers for the beast.

A court in Maharashtra state issued a shoot-to-kill order Friday against the two-year-old female tiger after its latest victim, a woman, died earlier this month.

But efforts to capture or kill the tiger were called off after it strayed against an electric fence near a village early on Saturday, said Rishikesh Ranjan, field director of Pench Tiger Reserve.

“She died at 2.30am after getting electrocuted. We have recovered the body,” he said.

“The fencing was erected by the villagers to keep away wild animals, especially boars.”

The tiger named “Kala”, meaning black in Hindi, was initially captured in July after killing two villagers and injuring four others in Brahmapuri in Maharashtra state.

She was fitted with a GPS collar and released into the nearby Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, but went on to attack and kill another two people.

“She has killed four people and injured four others. We can shoot her but we would prefer to capture and tranquillise her,” Ranjan said on Thursday night, adding she was “spreading panic amongst villagers”.

‘No one is safe after dark’: Indian villages terrorised by tiger attacks

“In her last killing she consumed a major chunk of the victim’s body,” he said.

Tigers do not generally attack humans, but some experts believe they can acquire a taste for human flesh after an initial attack.

India is home to more than half of the world’s tiger population with some 2,226 of the animals roaming its reserves, according to the last count in 2014. A century ago, India had about 100,000 tigers, but their numbers have been declining sharply since then.

Dozens die every year, sometimes at the hands of poachers, while reports of man-animal conflict are not uncommon.

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In October last year forest guards shot dead a tiger blamed for killing three villagers outside Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand state.

Villagers celebrated by parading with the dead animal’s carcass for nearly three hours.

According to India’s environment ministry, 1,144 people were killed in attacks across India in 1,143 days between April 2014 and May this year.

The ministry said 345 tigers and 84 elephants were killed in the same period, mostly by poachers.