Forest department officials and residents around the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand on Thursday shot dead a tigress who had killed two people and wounded five others in the last month. Villagers celebrated the killing, which ended their 44-day search operation, by parading with the animal corpse for almost three hours, reported NDTV.
Officials told Hindustan Times that the tigress was killed near Dehradun when she was hiding in a sugarcane field to nurse a bullet injury that she had suffered on Wednesday. Nicknamed the ‘sugarcane tigress’, the big cat was traced when forest department teams spotted blood trails on sugarcane leaves. According to NDTV, forest officials and villagers cornered the tigress and shot her 11 times.
Qamar Qureshi, a tiger expert at the Wildlife Institute of India, justified the killing of the animal, other experts said this will not solve the bigger man-animal conflict plaguing the state. In the past 16 years, more than 350 people have been killed by big cats in the state, reported the Hindustan Times. According to a 2015 report, there are more than 100 leopards in Uttarakhand that have officially been classified as man-eaters.
The 'sugarcane tigress' had in fact became a political issue in the poll-bound state of Uttarakhand after the Bharatiya Janata Party accused the ruling Congress government of being lackadaisical about the problem. The state government had spent approximately Rs 75 lakh to hunt down and kill the big cat. The government had involved hunters, forest department workers, a helicopter and drones to track down the man-eating tigress.