MADIKERI: A tiger on the prowl for over a fortnight — dubbed the “man-eater” of Kodagu — killed an eight-year-old boy in south Kodagu early Monday morning, hours after which forest personnel claimed to have taken a shot at the animal, leaving it wounded. This was the third deadly tiger attack in the past 16 days.
Rangaswamy, the boy, was with his grandfather Kencha Shetty and other labourers at an estate in Belluru village when the tiger attacked around 6.30am. The workers were caught by surprise as the animal leapt from behind and mauled the boy. Kencha, 52, jumped to save the boy and the tiger struck him too, injuring him severely. He has been moved to a hospital in Mysuru.
Villagers demand operation to kill tiger
The family had moved to Belluru from Nanjangud two years ago in search of a livelihood. The forest department handed over a compensation cheque of Rs 7.5 lakh to the family.
Following shooting orders from the state principal chief conservator of forests should capture efforts fail, sharpshooters managed to corner the animal late evening during combing operations.
Sources said as the tiger approached one of them, three shots were fired and one injured the animal in the face. “The wounded tiger fled. However, forest staff have surrounded the area where it is roaming. We will definitely capture the wounded tiger,” said Virajpet DCF Chakrapani.
Villagers have sought operations be undertaken to kill the tiger since it has struck repeatedly in the past two weeks. On Monday, they stopped forest vehicles and tamed elephants brought for capturing the tiger from entering Belluru and demanded that the forest minister and senior state forest officers arrive at the spot to take stock of the dread in the region and losses suffered by families.
The tiger also lifted two cows belonging to villagers in Belluru on Monday. The tiger has been identified as 13 U285 of Nagarahole forest, sources said, which was counted during the 2013 census and numbered for future identification.
Two people were killed on February 20 in T Shettigeri and Kumturu villages of the district. The forest department had captured a tigress in Manchalli village the next day and said it was behind the two killings.