Pilibhit: A 55-year-old farmer was mauled to death by an adult male tiger when he had entered the core forest area of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) along with two others to collect wild mushrooms, a forest official said.
The man’s half-eaten body was found inside the jungle by a field forest team.
PTR Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Naveen Khandelwal, said, “The incident happened in Puraini Deepnagar area under Madhotanda limits. The spot is almost two km inside the forest from the PTR boundary. Victim Totaram, a marginal farmer, went to the forest with Shri Krishna and Ram Bahadur. When Totaram disappeared, the other two fled.”
“Totaram’s body was found with his right leg missing. He had deep bite marks on his face, neck and chest. The body has been sent for post-mortem. Pug marks later found at the spot indicate that an adult tiger may have attacked him,” Khandelwal added.
This is the third such attack — all within a three-km radius area — in about a month where 70 per cent of the victim’s body was found eaten and the limbs were severed, the forest officer said.
DFO Khandelwal added, “We are trying to trace the tiger and find out whether the same animal is involved in the recent attacks. We will tranquilise the animal to relocate it elsewhere. In the latest case, the victim may not get compensation as the death occurred inside the core forest. The two survivors will be booked under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act for trespassing into a protected area despite a ban on human entry.”
Local villagers claimed Totaram was harvesting paddy near the junction point of Mala and Mahof forest ranges of PTR, and the tiger might have dragged.
“Another attack may happen if this male tiger is not traced soon,” said a local villager.