An adult tigress was beaten to death with sticks by villagers in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, IANS reported.
The incident took place close to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, about 240 km from the state capital Lucknow, NDTV reported. A two-minute video of the assault of the tiger by the villagers has a background commentary by a witness who said they were assaulting the animal because she had attacked and injured a villager.
The villagers also reportedly did not allow the injured tigress to be taken to the veterinary hospital and she died within a few hours. Reports said that the tigress had injured nine people on Wednesday afternoon.
A first information report was filed by local forest officials against 31 named and 12 unknown people. Efforts are under way to identify attackers, District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava was quoted as saying by IANS.
A magisterial inquiry to investigate the role of forest officials in protecting the tigress has also been ordered.
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Field Director H Rajamohan said that the tigress was about six years old and she died of broken ribs and injuries to her body. The tigress was cremated after a postmortem examination. “She had sustained fractures and injuries from sharp-edged weapons like spears on almost every part of her body,” Rajamohan said.
“Most of her ribs were fractured and four of them had punctured the lungs,” an unidentified veterinary doctor who was part of the team that conducted the postmortem examination told Hindustan Times. “The bones of her legs were broken and the entire body was riddled with stab wounds made by spears and sharp object.”
“The tigress could have been rescued and given timely medical aid as the forest officials had reached the spot,” GC Misra, former field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, was quoted as saying. “But their inability to rescue the injured big cat in a span of over nine hours undoubtedly reflects their inability in protecting wildlife in adverse situations.”